The Hurt Locker

Synopsis: An intense portrayal of elite soldiers who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: disarming bombs in the heat of combat. When a new sergeant, James, takes over a highly trained bomb disposal team amidst violent conflict, he surprises his two subordinates, Sanborn and Eldridge, by recklessly plunging them into a deadly game of urban combat, behaving as if he's indifferent to death. As the men struggle to control their wild new leader, the city explodes into chaos, and James' true character reveals itself in a way that will change each man forever.
Director(s): Kathryn Bigelow
Production: Summit Entertainment
  Won 6 Oscars. Another 117 wins & 126 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.6
Metacritic:
94
Rotten Tomatoes:
97%
R
Year:
2008
131 min
$15,700,000
Website
86 Views

"The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for

war is a drug."

Chris Hedges, WAR IS A FORCE THAT GIVES US MEANING

"The worst imaginable news: war thrives because enough men still

love it."

TIME:

BLACK SCREEN:

Over the BUZZING sound of an electric engine we--

CUT TO:

EXT STREET/DAWN

A grainy, low-resolution view, seen from sixteen inches above

street level. And we're moving fast -- nauseatingly fast.

From this angle close to the ground we FLY down a road strewn

with war garbage: munitions, trash, rubber, animal shit --

all of which, from this odd, jarring perspective, looks

gigantic, monstrous.

We zoom towards a crumpled COKE CAN, the white `C' growing

enormous on the screen, filling the screen like a skyscraper.

We SMASH into the can and barrel ahead.

A RAG flutters, blocks the view, then tumbles away, as we --

-- zoom downhill, see nothing but gray sand, then zoom back

up hill and off, catching air, a flash of the horizon line,

BRIGHT SUN, and land hard on a packed road.

We close in on one particular pile of trash, which is topped

with a white plastic garbage bag, and stop. Puffs of dust

and fluttering plastic.

We glide across the fluttering plastic. Flies buzzing.

Advancing slowly, inch by inch, to the edge for our first

glimpse inside the bag:

A RUSTY ARTILLERY SHELL.

CUT TO:

EXT MIDDLE EASTERN STREET/DAWN

A military ROBOT (about 3 feet long and 2 feet high, aka `the

bot') that rolls on tank-like treads and has a mechanical

hand and an array of CAMERAS is moving around the bag.

TITLE OVER:

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - JANUARY, 2005

This is all taking place on a dusty stretch of road in a

quiet section of Baghdad, barren except for a few shops, some

cement houses and a couple of parked cars.

2

THE U.S. MILITARY HAS CONTROL OF THE CITY, BUT INSURGENT

GROUPS ARE MOUNTING FRESH ATTACKS IN AN ATTEMPT TO DISRUPT

THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS ON 31 JANUARY 2005.

THEY'VE ADOPTED A DEADLY NEW TACTIC, USING I.E.D.s -

IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES - TO AMBUSH AMERICAN TROOPS. THE

BODY COUNT IS RISING.

IN RESPONSE, THE ARMY HAS DEPLOYED THE LAST OF ITS ELITE BOMB

SQUAD UNITS, HOPING THAT THESE THREE MAN TEAMS CAN DISARM THE

BOMBS BEFORE THEY EXPLODE, AND STEM THE TIDE OF DESTRUCTION.

SOUND of far off GUNSHOTS and CALL to prayer.

SEVERAL U.S. INFANTRY SOLDIERS are moving PEDESTRIANS away

from the bag. Another group of SOLDIERS is clearing out all

the shops:
bakery, sandwich shop, and a butcher shop.

Next to a parked Humvee, THREE EOD (Explosive Ordinance

Disposal, aka Bomb Squad) SOLDIERS are crouched over a laptop

computer, looking at the screen and the same image of the

metal artillery shell inside the fluttering plastic.

SERGEANT MATT THOMPSON wipes at the sweat on his forehead.

This is summer in the desert and the median temperature on

this bright clear morning is 110 degrees.

THOMPSON:

It's to the left.

Thompson tears open a mushy Snicker's. He is fleshy around

the arms and middle, but there's real muscle underneath the

flab and truth be told, after so many years in EOD, he's lost

the need to have a show-off build.

SANBORN:

Going left.

SERGEANT J. T. SANBORN works the joystick on the laptop. He

is a strapping Iowa farm boy, with a thick back from bailing

hay. In contrast to his bulky frame, his face is soft, open,

kind. He has a relaxed demeanor. Which might lead you to

think nothing ever bothers Sanborn. But if you thought that,

you'd be mistaken. Before joining EOD, Sanborn was in

Military Intelligence. He quit. Military Intel was too easy.

THOMPSON:

Up a little.

LAPTOP SCREEN:

Rusty artillery shell now almost full frame.

3

SANBORN:

SANBORN:

There?

THOMPSON:

Closer. I want to see the ojive.

Zoom on the nose cone of the shell.

The third soldier leans in for a better look.

SPECIALIST OWEN ELDRIDGE is a tall, lanky young man, the

youngest of the group. He's a fighter like the others but

also a reader, and something of a thinker. Eldridge crouches

behind the other two soldiers, sipping a bottle of water,

eyes never leaving the screen.

THOMPSON:

Push it in.

SANBORN:

I can't get it inside.

THOMPSON:

Pretend it's your dick.

SANBORN:

(SMILES)

I'm pretending it's your dick.

Eldridge laughs. He clearly likes the two men he's with.

THOMPSON:

Let me try.

SANBORN:

Give me a second.

THOMPSON:

Give me a crack at it.

SANBORN:

Shit. Okay.

They change places. Thompson now on the controls.

THOMPSON:

Hello mamma. See that?

SANBORN:

Looks like a one-five-five.

4

Eldridge gets up and goes to the Humvee, fishes around

inside.

THOMPSON:

Yeah. That can do some damage.

SANBORN:

We're going to need a charge.

Eldridge is already on it, approaching with the four blocks

of C4. He's done this enough to know what they need.

ELDRIDGE:

Figured four blocks. Hey with these

four blocks and the ninety pounds,

are we going to be far enough away?

Now we see the tiny toy robot in the far distance -- far, far

away.

Behind the Humvee and on either side of the road INFANTRY

SOLDIERS are still clearing civilian onlookers from nearby

stores.

Thompson stands and takes a good look at his surroundings.

THOMPSON:

The blast is going to roll out

there (pointing) the shell will

probably kick out there (pointing),

and most of the shrapnel is going

to rain up in an umbrella pattern.

Some smaller pieces and shell

fragments will come out this way --

but we'll be okay if we are behind

the truck.

The idea that he would be standing in the open amuses

Eldridge.

ELDRIDGE:

You know I'll be behind the truck.

THOMPSON:

Nothing wrong with that, Owen.

Let's get the area cleared--

(looks around at the crowd

OF ONLOOKERS)

--as best we can, then load up the

bot.

5

Eldridge double times it over to a nearby soldier. Together

they herd away various bystanders.

CUT TO:

DOWNRANGE:

The bot dutifully makes its return voyage to the plastic bag,

this time towing a cart which is loaded with C4 and a

blasting cap, and a coil of unspooling detonation wire.

The robot hits a bump causing the blasting cap to tumble to

the ground, where it begins to roll --

UPRANGE:

Everyone cringes. The cap doesn't explode. Close call.

SANBORN:

Damn.

DOWNRANGE:

The blasting cap has rolled into a gully, out of reach of the

robot hand.

UPRANGE:

Sanborn wiggles the stick. It's not happening.

SANBORN:

Matt, the bot's not going to do it.

THOMPSON:

Keep trying.

DOWNRANGE:

The robot hand tries again. No dice.

UPRANGE:

THOMPSON:

Okay, you're right. I have to go

down there - don't you think?

Sanborn nods.

6

THOMPSON:

I don't want to wait around here in

this neighborhood anyway.

SANBORN:

(WRYLY)

What, you don't like it here?

THOMPSON:

Let's just get me dressed.

CUT TO:

HUMVEE:

Sanborn unpacks "THE SUIT." A bizarre contraption that looks

like an astronaut suit and helmet crossed with the Michelin

Man. Because of its weight and complexity it takes two men to

put it on - or one Sanborn.

Sanborn kneels down and guides Thompson's feet into the

suit's black boots, then lashes up a series of Velcro straps

to secure the armor, like a squire working on a knight.

A strap near the crotch prompts Thompson to wisecrack:

THOMPSON:

Watch it.

SANBORN:

(SMILING)

I thought you already had your

children, Sergeant.

THOMPSON:

Need to keep my options open.

Thompson twists to get his chest protector on. Eyes tight,

brow furrowed, squints into the far distance. That's going

to be a mean motherfucker.

THOMPSON:

Okay. I'm going to make my

approach. This area looks okay. No

power-lines. Clean line of sight.

If it looks alright when I get down

there, I'm going to plug it in and

we'll just blow it. Boom -- no more

bomb -- give these people something

to think about.

(MORE)

7

THOMPSON (CONT'D)

I want them to know if they're

going to leave a bomb on the side

of the road for us, we're going to

blow up their little road. Leave

them a crater and an ear ache.

Sanborn and Thompson put in their earplugs.

SANBORN:

Ready?

Thompson nods.

THOMPSON:

I'm craving a hamburger, is that

strange?

Next, Sanborn takes a metal helmet with a thick glass front

and seals Thompson's face in. Sanborn attaches the breathing

hose. Taps his boss on the shoulder.

SANBORN:

Not for you. (sealing him in)

Happy trails.

THOMPSON:

(HEADSET)

This is Blaster One.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Copy, that. Blaster One. You're

good to go.

Thompson turns to face the white bag and begins his walk

toward it.

EXT. ROAD DAY

Thompson's stride is slowed by the eighty-pound suit...He

CLUNKS down the road. Dust clouding from his boots...

He moves past the same mounds of charred and rotting stuff,

inner tubes, soda bottles, crumpled cans, steaming animal

waste, and bits of fluttering plastic that the bot passed...

The question is not - do you see a white garbage bag? It's

which of these bags is the BOMB?

Sweat slides down into his eyes.

8

THOMPSON:

(HEADSET)

200 meters. It's boiling in here.

UPRANGE:

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Copy that. 200 meters.

The RASP of Thompson's BREATHING loud on Sanborn's walkie-

talkie...

DOWNRANGE:

Thompson walks on.

A knot of flies floats in the air in front of his helmet. He

lifts an arm and they disappear.

The desert sun glints off a nearby car and momentarily

bleaches his mask bright white.

A YOUNG GIRL with an INFANT BABY in her arms appears in a far

off doorway, then withdraws out of sight.

He looks down, CAREFULLY watches his footfalls. Garbage

piled on top of garbage.

UPRANGE:

Eldridge and Sanborn are at the ready, scanning the area and

watching Thompson.

THOMPSON (0.S)

(OVER WALKIE)

One hundred.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Copy, that. 100 meters out.

DOWNRANGE:

Thompson:
careful footfalls on sand.

Breathing. Heat. Sun. Sweat. Flies.

Suddenly a DOG out of nowhere charges, BARKING ferociously.

9

Thompson is momentarily startled. Then resumes his walking.

The dog runs off.

Thompson blinks more sweat out of his eyes.

THOMPSON:

(HEADSET)

Twenty five.

UPRANGE WITH SANBORN

Sanborn lifts the walkie. Sweat in his eyes. Wipes it away.

SANBORN:

Copy twenty five. You're in the

kill zone.

THOMPSON:

(HEADSET)

Thanks for reminding me.

Eldridge nods. Everything progressing nice and easy.

DOWNRANGE WITH THOMPSON

Thompson is standing over the blasting cap.

THOMPSON:

(HEADSET)

Alright. I'm here. I'm gonna put it

in.

SANBORN:

(OVER WALKIE)

Copy that.

Thompson picks the blasting cap off the ground and looks up --

As distant THUMP of approaching chopper wash quickly becomes

super loud in his ears.

SANBORN:

(OVER WALKIE)

Hold on. Bird coming in.

THOMPSON:

(HEADSET)

I hear it.

Thompson pulls the cap back out. He looks up to see the giant

black shape passing over him.

10

[Note:
we see now what Thompson is worried about: as it chops

the air, a helicopter rotor produces static electricity. We

see this electricity as a faint, nearly transparent rippling

wave.]

THOMPSON:

(HEADSET)

Guy is trying to kill me.

The helicopter turns, and swings back around.

THOMPSON:

(HEADSET)

If he brings that electricity back

here, I'm going to put a bullet in

his tail.

The helicopter banks in the other direction, away from

Thompson.

UPRANGE:

A collective sigh of relief.

SANBORN:

Jesus. (into walkie) I think he

figured out we were EOD. You're

good, Blaster One.

DOWNRANGE:

Thompson inserts the cap back into the C4.

THOMPSON:

(HEADSET)

We're armed and ready to blow,

Blaster Mike.

SANBORN:

(OVER WALKIE)

Copy that. You coming back?

THOMPSON:

(HEADSET)

Copy that, I'm on my way.

Thompson gets up. Looks around at the expanse of empty, still

road under heavy guard.

The war has stopped for him -- and he knows it.

11

Thompson begins to walk back uprange, looking carefully at

the ground around him.

UPRANGE:

Sanborn and Eldridge lower their rifles.

DOWNRANGE:

Thompson carefully nudges a Coke can out of the way of his

boots.

UPRANGE:

Eldridge turns away from Thompson and opens the HUMVEE trunk

to stow the bot.

Sanborn swats a fly and takes a sip of water.

Eldridge loads the bot. Out of the corner of his eye he sees

some movement in the butcher shop.

ELDRIDGE:

Hey Sanborn --

SANBORN:

(TURNING)

Yeah?

ELDRIDGE:

Butcher shop - dude has a phone.

SANBORN:

He shouldn't be --

Eldridge is already moving towards the store.

Sanborn raises his gun and puts it on the store. The back of

Eldridge moving in and out of his scope. He can't get a

shot.

ELDRIDGE:

(shouting, waving his gun)

Hey - put that down--

The BUTCHER in a white apron nods and puts up his hand as if

to say, `give me a minute.'

12

THOMPSON:

--walking towards the Humvee away from the bomb. Lumbering

steps.

THOMPSON:

(HEADSET)

50 meters. Why is Eldridge running?

ELDRIDGE:

--RUNNING HARD--

ELDRIDGE:

Hey - put the phone down!

SANBORN:

--bolting sideways trying to get Eldridge out of his line of

SIGHT--

SANBORN ELDRIDGE

(shouting to Eldridge) PUT THE PHONE DOWN!

Burn him!

ELDRIDGE:

--legs pumping, his thumb flicks the rifle safety--

The butcher smiles. Gives Eldridge the thumbs up sign. His

other thumb is jamming a button on the phone.

Now Eldridge is panicked, shouting:

ELDRIDGE:

DROP THE PHONE!!!

THOMPSON:

--starts to run. Fear in his eyes.

BUTCHER:

--smiles back at Eldridge--

MACRO:
thumb on send button of the cell phone.

13

THOMPSON:

--running full out now--

BOOM ---

- Fireball blasts out from the bomb

-- flattening Thompson

-- Blood splatters the inside of his helmet.

-- thick cloud of particulate matter roils out in slow motion

-- hitting Eldridge and Sanborn -- turning them black.

With the roiling cloud we begin to float up and out over the

entire city of Baghdad:

--we see intersections jammed with traffic; American Humvees

and tanks idle next to red-and-white taxis, beat-up Opals,

the military and civilian mixed up in one snarling line, all

competing for space, advantage...

--we continue to rise until we take in the entire massive

metropolis. Mosques and office towers ascend from a maze of

dusty streets teeming with life despite two decades of war...

The roiling black cloud thins in a light breeze and we hard

CUT TO:

BLACK:

CUT TO:

INT CAMP VICTORY TRAILER DAY

A shaft of afternoon sun creeps past a plywood-covered

window, faintly lighting the interior of a narrow, low-

ceilinged room.

In the dimness we see contours: desk, chair, a large locker,

and the silhouette of a MAN moving a cot away from the

window. On the cot is a small duffle bag.

We hear a knock from the outside.

The man moving the cot stops.

JAMES:

Yeah.

14

SANBORN O.S.

Sergeant James?

JAMES:

It's open.

The door opens and in the light we see Sanborn.

SANBORN:

Sergeant James. (extending his

hand) J.T. Sanborn. Welcome to

Bravo Company and welcome to Camp

Victory.

JAMES:

Victory? I thought this was called

Camp Liberty.

SANBORN:

(SHRUGS)

They changed it last week. Victory

sounds better.

JAMES:

It's Will. Good to meet you J.T.

SERGEANT WILLIAM JAMES extends a hand. A former DELTA

soldier is in his late twenties, good-looking, appealing

face, solid build, one of the lucky ones. And yet, look

closer. In the right light, there's an unusual depth to his

expression, to his eyes and all-American face, as if he's

guarding an inner chaos that could rush out at any time.

Right now, however, James is doing his best to act like a

regular nice guy.

Sanborn looks around the empty room. One duffle.

SANBORN:

So, is that all you brought from

Kabul?

James motions to the locker.

JAMES:

Yeah. Here, give me a hand with

this.

Sanborn helps James move the locker against the wall.

JAMES:

By the window.

15

They push the locker over the window, blocking the light.

It's very dark in the room now.

JAMES:

A mortar once hit near my trailer --

boom -- a two inch piece of frag

cut through the aluminum and flew

this far (gesturing with his hands)

over my head, past my balls and

landed in my computer hard-drive.

Where's the damn light?

Sanborn finds the switch in the corner. Then he comes back

and taps the metal locker, testing its strength.

SANBORN:

This should stop any lateral

pieces.

JAMES:

Yeah, I'm good unless it comes

through the roof (smiles) in which

case I'm gonna need a closed

casket.

Sanborn doesn't like the joke, tries to change gears.

SANBORN:

The accent -- you from Georgia?

JAMES:

Tennessee. Trailer park off I-5.

SANBORN:

Oh, right. I'm from Vermont. You

know, "live free or die." Trees.

Snow. Maple syrup. Pot.

James gives him a polite smile.

Sanborn soldiers on:

SANBORN:

Well, if you need anything to get

squared away, just let me know.

Either myself or Owen -- Eldridge --

be happy to steer you in the right

direction for supplies, whatever.

JAMES:

Okay. (pause) Thanks.

16

SANBORN:

Anyway, the mess tent can be hard

to find the first time ... so ...

if you want ... we're going over

there now to grab chow ... come

along.

JAMES:

Thanks. But no.

SANBORN:

You want me to bring you back a

burger or something?

JAMES:

(shaking his head)

Nah. I'm good.

James unzips his duffle and gets up to put his clothes on an

overhead shelf. Sanborn watches him, then starts for the

door. James turns to face Sanborn.

JAMES:

I'm sorry about Thompson, I heard

he was a good tech.

SANBORN:

Yeah, he was. And he was a good

team leader too.

JAMES:

I know I can't fill his shoes, but

I'm here to try--

SANBORN:

Appreciate it.

JAMES:

--but you know, if it's your time

it's your time. No man can change

that.

SANBORN:

(PUZZLED)

Yeah, I guess that's true.

(RECOVERING)

So, we roll at oh-six-hundred.

James smiles slightly as he contemplates the next day's

mission.

JAMES:

Looking forward to it.

17

EXT TRAILER MOMENTS LATER

Sanborn comes out and sees Eldridge, who has been waiting by

the door.

They walk towards the mess tent. Sanborn is absorbed in

thought. Eldridge doesn't want to interrupt.

After a moment.

ELDRIDGE:

So?

SANBORN:

A good `ole boy. You know, loves

the Army, blood runs green. Country

boy. Seems solid.

ELDRIDGE:

I always liked southerners, for

some reason.

SANBORN:

Then he's just your type.

ELDRIDGE:

Why is it always the gay jokes with

you. It's not even funny.

SANBORN:

(growing serious, he

imitates James' accent)

It's your time it's your time.

ELDRIDGE:

(CONCERNED)

He said that?

Sanborn nods.

CUT TO:

EXT CAMP VICTORY ELDRIDGE'S TRAILER EARLY MORNING

The sand has completed its daily march across Eldridge's

steps. His boots sweep a bit away as he steps outside in full

battle gear, and kisses a photo of the Virgin Mary and slips

it inside his helmet. He steps out into the bright morning

sun.

18

EXT CAMP VICTORY HUMVEE PARKING LOT

Sanborn is gearing up, strapping on a shitload of weapons and

ammunition. Ready for anything.

Eldridge comes up.

ELDRIDGE:

Where's the FNG?

[Note:
FNG. Fucking New Guy.]

EXT JAMES' TRAILER

Eldridge, surprised to see James is not outside ready to go,

knocks on his door.

Beat.

JAMES (O.S.)

Yeah?

ELDRIDGE:

It's oh-six-hundred.

The door opens a crack, revealing James dressed in his

skivvies and wrapped in a blanket, blinking awake.

JAMES:

Gimme a minute.

Before Eldridge can express the shock that's written all over

his face, James has closed the door.

CUT TO:

EXT CAMP VICTORY

An American Humvee drives past a long line of parked tanks

arranged in a neat rows, and gathering dust on all horizontal

surfaces.

INT HUMVEE:

Sanborn is behind the wheel, simultaneously driving and

loading his rifle. James sits next to him in the passenger

seat, loading his rifle and looking out the window. Eldridge

is in the back seat.

19

ELDRIDGE:

(looking out window)

Those Abrams have been parked ever

since I got here nine months ago,

and I ain't seen them move once.

They should put those on eBay.

Hey, J.T., how much you think one

of those would cost?

SANBORN:

Ten million?

ELDRIDGE:

Well I guess it makes sense.

Anybody comes alongside the Humvee,

we're dead. Anybody looks at you

funny, you're dead. Pretty much,

the bottom line, is if you're in

Iraq you're dead. How's a tank

going to stop that?

SANBORN:

Gimme a break, Owen.

ELDRIDGE:

(SMILING)

Sorry. Just trying to scare the

new guy.

EXT CAMP VICTORY/BAGHDAD OUTSKIRTS MORNING

The Humvee moves out of the base and into the outskirts of

the city. Heat and sand and little else.

INT HUMVEE:

JAMES:

We had a few bombs up in Kabul too.

ELDRIDGE:

Sure, I bet you did. But you're

going to be real busy here, boss.

James smiles, settles back in the seat.

EXT HUMVEE:

The Humvee is now approaching a cluster of cars.

20

INT HUMVEE:

SANBORN:

Hey Owen -- watch the fucking road.

Eldridge moves up to the gunner's seat on top of the Humvee.

EXT HUMVEE:

Eldridge has a collection of rocks he keeps in the gunner's

nest and now he throws one at the car in front of him. The

passenger turns around.

ELDRIDGE:

Imshee -- Imshee !

CUT TO:

EXT BAGHDAD STREET EARLY MORNING

The Humvee grinds to a stop on the outskirts of town. It's a

place teeming with trash, with dwellings that look as beaten

down as the people. The ghetto of the ghetto.

James is first out, Sanborn comes up behind him.

Eldridge climbs out of the turret.

They are now out in the open -- standing on Iraqi sand --

where anything can happen.

SANBORN:

(TO ELDRIDGE)

Clear here.

Eldridge nods and begins turning suspicious bits of plastic

over with the tip of his boots.

ELDRIDGE:

Clear here.

JAMES:

(looking around at the

EMPTY STREET)

Where are the guys who called this

in?

James walks on. Sanborn and Eldridge exchange a glance `what

the hell,' and follow him.

21

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Victory Main, Victory Main, this is

Blaster Mike. Interogative, Do you

have an updated poz for the link-

up? Has their position changed?

After a moment a scratchy voice over his walkie.

DISPATCH O.S.

(OVER WALKIE)

Blaster Mike, this is Victory Main.

Negative. Figures to follow. Three-

four-five-three is your grid. You

should have a visual on them right

now. They're waving an American

FLAG:

Sanborn keys his GPSw unit.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Negative, Main. No one in sight.

DISPATCH O.S.

(OVER WALKIE)

Blaster Mike. You should have a

visual, waving a flag.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

(looking at empty space) Well,

that's were I am and I don't see

any guys in fatigues, and I sure as

hell don't see any American flag,

Over.

James, Sanborn and Eldridge continue their slow walk down the

street. An empty Humvee comes into view.

ELDRIDGE:

They abandoned their vehicle?

James walks forward. Unconcerned. Takes out a cigarette and

lights it. Sanborn's walkie comes to life.

DISPATCH O.S.

(OVER WALKIE)

Roger, Blaster. I copied you the

first time.

James approaches the empty Humvee.

22

Stops. Turns to see a tiny American flag being waved in the

window of a nearby building. James jogs over to the building,

opens the door.

JAMES:

Hello boys --

Looking into a room full of SOLDIERS who are trying not to

look afraid.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Yeah, thanks. Roger that.

JAMES:

(TO SOLDIERS)

Don't tell me the bomb is in there

with you.

A SERGEANT, slightly embarrassed, climbs out into the open

and tries to act nonchalant.

He points down the block, which is a sea of trash and white

plastic bags.

SERGEANT:

(pointing far down the

ROAD)

Down on that block, one of our

informants says there is an IED in

a white plastic bag.

James has heard enough and even though the Sergeant may have

more to say --

JAMES:

I'll get it.

(turning to Sanborn)

Break out the suit.

(turning back to the

SERGEANT) )

Keep your guys back.

Sanborn is already unloading the robot.

SANBORN:

What about the bot?

JAMES:

Don't need it.

23

SANBORN:

(SURPRISED)

What? Aren't we going to send the

bot down to take a look?

JAMES:

Nah, I'm going to take care of it.

Sanborn shoots Eldridge a look. Is he an FNG or what?

CUT TO:

JAMES:

Sanborn and Eldridge kneeling before James, buckling on the

suit.

SANBORN:

I was thinking if we sent the bot

down first --

James ignores him.

As soon as he's enclosed in the suit, James moves quickly

toward the rubble pile.

UPRANGE:

ELDRIDGE:

He's a rowdy boy.

SANBORN:

He's reckless.

ELDRIDGE:

Somebody should tell the U.N. to

send the rice in clear plastic bags

so there's no place to hide the

IEDs. The insurgent would be like,

`Allah has forsaken me all the bags

are clear'.

[Note:
IED Improvised Explosive Device. A homemade bomb. The

number one weapon of the Iraqi insurgency.]

SANBORN:

(SMILING)

I've seen so much garbage I'm

starting to like the smell.

JAMES:

24

As he advances downrange, he passes a line of bushes and

tosses an incendiary grenade at it, setting the foliage

ablaze.

UPRANGE:

Sanborn looks on in confusion.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Blaster One, what are you doing?

No answer.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Blaster One, this is Blaster Mike,

what's with the fire on the side of

the road, over?

No answer. Sanborn and Eldridge struggle to get a visual.

They dash to a better vantage point.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Hey James, can you hear me? What's

with the fire on the side of the

road, over?

JAMES:

FINALLY:

JAMES:

(OVER HEADSET)

Creating a diversion.

Sanborn can barely see James through the flames and smoke.

UPRANGE:

He climbs up on top of the Humvee to get a better look but

gets only a partial view.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

From what? Is there a threat?

Eldridge scans the area with his rifle, tense, trying to

figure out how to behave.

25

SANBORN:

(TO ELDRIDGE)

Get up on that wall.

Eldridge hustles over to the wall, but can't manage to pull

himself up with all his gear on, so dashes down to a mound of

dirt, which gives him a leg up.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

James, I can't see you, over.

The last thing he expects is James' laconic reply:

JAMES O.S.

(OVER WALKIE)

Copy that.

Sanborn shoots Eldridge a look - what the f*ck.

SANBORN:

(TO ELDRIDGE)

Tell me what you see, Specialist.

Eldridge, on the wall, feels awfully vulnerable and in the

open. The wall is quite narrow. His feet are precariously

balanced. His view of James is not much better

ELDRIDGE:

I see his back. He's walking

downrange. Oh, I lost him.

SANBORN:

Eldridge, move down that wall and

maintain a visual. Move. Move.

Eldridge teetering down the wall.

ELDRIDGE:

Roger, roger. I'm on him. He's

still walking.

SOUND of BREATHING in Sanborn's walkie.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

James, the smoke is killing my

visibility. Where are you in

relation to the IED? Are you 100

meters, yet?

26

JAMES:

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

Hell, I don't know. I'll let you

know when I'm standing over it.

We see the world from James' point of view now, the city of

Baghdad has taken on an intense and dreamy hue, as if we're

in some sort of fugue state:

--He looks down the strange, threatening Iraqi street.

He walks on. The suit is heavy, little puffs of sand with

each footfall. The sun beats down.

James nears an intersection guarded on either side by a

Humvee and several SOLDIERS, when...

INTERSECTION:

Suddenly a red-and-white TAXI swerves past the SOLDIERS on

the left side of the intersection. The soldiers take cover

and shout contradictory commands - Get Down Motherfucker!

Don't Move! Back up! Out of the vehicle!

The TAXI BRAKES in front of James.

UPRANGE:

Sanborn and Eldridge can hear the shouting but the lingering

smoke still obscures their sight.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

JAMES --

ELDRIDGE:

(shouting to Sanborn)

Car! Car! A car stopped in front of

him.

JAMES:

James' HEADSET WALKIE barks to life:

SANBORN O.S.

(HEADSET)

Come back.

27

James pulls a pistol from his holster, and --

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

I got it.

-- shoots two rounds into the dirt, near the car's front

tire.

DRIVER'S FACE

Impossible to read. Is he a taxi driver annoyed by the

roadblock, or an insurgent fighter getting ready to blow a

suicide bomb?

ONE OF THE ARMY SOLDIERS

With field glasses on the intersection he speaks into the

walkie.

SOLDIER:

(OVER WALKIE)

EOD has a nine on this Haji in the

car. I'm going to get two guys

over there to back him up.

SANBORN:

Still can't see clearly. Processing this information. Turns

to Eldridge.

Eldridge using his rifle scope as well - shakes his head. No

visual.

SANBORN:

(into walkie to soldier)

Negative, negative. You're too

close to the IED--

(HESITATING)

Stand down. EOD has the situation

under control.

Sweat on his forehead.

JAMES:

Now aiming at the windshield. But the driver is impassive.

28

UPRANGE:

Eldridge looks through his rifle scope.

ELDRIDGE:

(shouting to Sanborn)

We're in a kill zone!

INTERSECTION:

James fires, shattering the windshield. But the car doesn't

budge.

James is pissed. He lunges through the windshield and jams

his gun into the driver's forehead.

SOLDIER:

SOLDIER:

(INTO WALKIE)

Three or four rounds fired. The

nine is now pressing into the

Haji's forehead.

INTERSECTION:

The gun digs into the driver's forehead. Beat. The driver

shifts into reverse.

He rolls back to the soldiers, who then rush the car, yank

the driver out, and deliver a savage beating as James looks

on.

JAMES:

JAMES:

(chuckling into his

HEADSET)

If he wasn't an insurgent he sure

as hell is now.

And he resumes his walk towards the white garbage bag and the

rubble pile, noting possible threats -- a MAN in a window

down the road.

UPRANGE:

SANBORN:

(coolly, into walkie)

Copy that.

(MORE)

29

SANBORN (CONT'D)

But I have no idea what you're

talking about, Blaster One, since I

can't see you. Over.

JAMES O.S.

(HEADSET)

I'll tell you later. James out.

PILE OF RUBBLE:

One of a million in this city. James draws near. Two wires

protrude from the mess.

Moving quickly, he deftly removes rubble and trash to expose

the wires and the artillery shells they are attached to --

sees out of his peripheral vision the MAN in the window --

reaches for his pistol -- but the man disappears from view --

he then goes back to work, with swift sure hands. He loves

this, loves being close to oblivion.

The wires are exposed. He cuts one. Then flips the artillery

rounds over and cuts the other wire.

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

We're done.

He stands and uses his big boot to clear more rubble. A

banana peel is pushed away, revealing:

Another wire snaking out of the ground.

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

Secondary!

James spins to look uprange. Sees Sanborn motioning for the

men to get down.

UPRANGE:

SANBORN:

(TO ELDRIDGE)

Off the wall, Owen!

(TO SOLDIERS)

Get behind something. Find cover.

Soldiers scrambling to find concrete to hide behind.

JAMES:

30

James YANKS the wire out of the dirt but it turns out to be

buried like a root, and the more he rips the more the wire is

revealed. He rips and rips, going back ten feet.

---The wire is stuck in the ground, and it will not come out

anymore. James digs with a knife -- FURIOUSLY moving earth --

until he reaches a third artillery shell, which he pulls out

of the ground.

--CU knife blade inside the shell --

--CU James' helmet - glass clouding over from condensation --

losing visibility.

--ECU blasting cap --

--ECU knife tip separates the wire...

CUT TO:

UPRANGE MOMENTS LATER

James strides uprange. Eldridge isn't sure what to make of

James. Sanborn is, but not ready to show it.

JAMES:

(gulping air as the helmet

IS REMOVED)

Did you see that guy?

(smiles, recovers his

MACHO)

Man, I need a beer.

Sanborn begins the bomb suit removal ritual - unstrapping

Velcro.

SANBORN:

We can arrange that.

He yanks at the strap - a little roughly.

SANBORN:

What do you like?

JAMES:

Colt.

SANBORN:

Nice southern brand.

Yanks at another strap.

31

James looks down, the tone of Sanborn's voice and the force

of the strap gets his attention.

Eldridge picks up the pieces of the suit and places them into

the Humvee. Listening to this exchange.

ELDRIDGE:

I'd take a beer.

JAMES:

(SMILING)

Hey, that wasn't too bad, for our

first time working together.

SANBORN:

I think working together is I talk

to you. And you talk to me.

JAMES:

Are we going on a date, J.T.?

Sanborn stands, removing the last piece of the suit.

SANBORN:

No, we're going on a mission. And

it's my job to keep you safe, so we

can keep going on missions.

JAMES:

Hey, this is combat.

With that James walks to the Humvee and gets inside.

Sanborn closes the trunk, hard, startling Eldridge. Eldridge

comes close, speaking out of James' earshot.

ELDRIDGE:

It's just thirty nine days.

SANBORN:

Thirty eight. Assuming we survive

today.

ELDRIDGE:

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

INT HUMVEE:

James is in the passenger seat, waiting impatiently. Sanborn

and Eldridge get in.

32

JAMES:

I don't mean to mix it up. But the

situation dictated it.

SANBORN:

(COOLLY)

Roger that.

JAMES:

I'm serious. We're gonna work

together. You'll get used to my ops

tempo.

SANBORN:

Your ops tempo?

JAMES:

I don't always stop to chat, and I

like to go fast. You know, so the

insurgents don't have time to plan.

I don't want them make any cell

phone calls.

Off Sanborn's face.

INT. CAMP VICTORY MESS TENT DAY

Eldridge and Sanborn chowing down - two guys among a sea of

SOLDIERS. Behind them in the mess tent hang the signs of

various fast-food restaurants that cater to the troops: PIZZA

HUT, SUBWAY, BURGER KING.

SANBORN:

Ketchup?

Eldridge passes his ketchup over to Sanborn.

ELDRIDGE:

This is not Pizza Hut.

(removing a slice of

PEPPERONI)

And this is not pepperoni. It's

round and meaty, but it ain't

pepperoni.

SANBORN:

Goat meat, probably.

ELDRIDGE:

Goat meat pepperoni? I'd be glad if

this was goat meat pepperoni.

(MORE)

33

ELDRIDGE (CONT'D)

I'd eat a truckload of goat meat

pepperoni. No, this is something

else. (slapping the fake pepperoni

on the table) This is unholy.

SANBORN:

Pray for something better -- and

while you're at it, pray for a new

team leader.

ELDRIDGE:

You sure you want to be the guy in

the bomb suit?

They see James at a food station.

SANBORN:

Be better than him.

James approaches the table.

ELDRIDGE:

Hey, James.

James sits down to an awkward silence. Eldridge stops eating.

Considers him.

ELDRIDGE:

(TO JAMES)

That was some crazy shit you pulled

out there.

JAMES:

Yeah?

ELDRIDGE:

Hell yeah. You're either really

lucky or really good. Right up on

the car like that. Gun to the head.

Crazy. You know it might backfire

on you someday. You know that. You

might actually die. And then what?

James is puzzled.

JAMES:

I don't know, what?

ELDRIDGE:

You don't meet your maker. You just

get vaporized into little bits of

DNA.

34

Sanborn watches Eldridge closely. Is he referring to

Thompson?

SANBORN:

(trying to be helpful)

He asks everyone what they think

about death. Ever since Thompson

was KIA.

James nods, turns to Eldridge:

JAMES:

I don't think about it. Waste of

time.

James goes back to eating. Eldridge keeps looking at him,

then lets it go.

EXT. CAMP VICTORY MESS TENT DAY

Midday in Iraq. The heat is oppressive, biblical.

James, Sanborn and Eldridge emerge into the blazing sun and

the tumult of the base. Trucks barrel by. And troops --

everywhere, troops.

James stops in front of young Iraqi KID selling pirated DVDs,

while Sanborn and Eldridge continue on to the head shed. The

kid, whose name is PELE, has DVDs fanned on a table.

PELE:

One for five, two for nine.

JAMES:

(HAVING FUN)

Three for twelve?

PELE:

Three for thirteen. And for you, no

tax.

JAMES:

(laughing, fishes out a five) Keep

the change.

EXT HEAD SHED PORCH

Sanborn is smoking a cigarette and watching James buy DVDs,

weighing him, when the team's FIRST SERGEANT, stocky with a

paternal way about him, holds out a white envelope to

Sanborn.

35

FIRST SERGEANT:

The tags finally came. Figured

you'd want to be the one to take

them over.(handing Sanborn the

ENVELOPE)

SANBORN:

Thanks, I will handle it.

The Sergeant nods. Sanborn stuffs the envelope in his back

pocket. And the Sergeant heads inside, walking past --

INT HEAD SHED SIDE OFFICE

A small office space with the door opened a crack. Behind the

door, Eldridge is sitting on a swivel chair, looking at a

computer screen, playing a computer game. Next to him in

another swivel chair is LT. COL. JOHN CAMBRIDGE, a MILITARY

PSYCHIATRIST, who is looking at Eldridge and the screen.

ELDRIDGE:

(singing the jingle)

"Be all that you can be," right?

But what if all I can be is dead on

the side of an Iraqi road?

LT. COL CAMBRIDGE

I'd like to see you move past this

feeling that you're going to die,

Owen.

ELDRIDGE:

(looking at the screen)

Why? I think it's logical. This is

a war, right Doc? People die all

the time. Why not me?

LT. COL CAMBRIDGE

That's true. But what concerns me

is how much you think about it. You

have to change the record in your

head, think about other things.

ELDRIDGE:

What do you think about?

LT. COL CAMBRIDGE

I don't dwell on death.(looking at

his watch) I don't obsess. You

understand what I'm getting at?

Eldridge looks up at last.

36

EXT CAMP VICTORY JAMES' TRAILER NIGHT

James stands before the open door of his trailer with the

satellite phone in hand. Overhead a canopy of stars blinks.

Through the earpiece of the phone the faint but unmistakable

BEEP of an answering machine.

JAMES:

(INTO PHONE)

Hey, guess you're out...wherever

you are you're probably wearing

those tight jeans, damn those look

good... Anyway, Baghdad's alright,

guys are a little uptight down

here, but then they just lost a

brother so I understand...

uh...(looking up at the

stars)...really beautiful night,

wish you could see these

stars...miss you...bye...

He disconnects. Sits in the darkness. Distant WASH of

engine noise.

INT CAMP VICTORY SHOWER STALLS NEXT MORNING

Sanborn is shaving in a mirror, otherwise dressed for combat

and ready to go, when James shuffles in wearing a T-shirt and

boxer shorts, looking like he just woke up.

Sanborn can't believe James is this relaxed.

SANBORN:

Hey.

JAMES:

Hey.

James starts to brush his teeth.

SANBORN:

I gotta talk to you about something

before we roll out.

James keeps brushing.

JAMES:

Shoot.

37

SANBORN:

Yesterday -- that was not cool.

JAMES:

I know. We'll get it.

More tooth brushing. Face cleaning.

James notices a tatoo on Sanborn's forearm.

SANBORN:

I was in Military Intel for seven

years. Before EOD. We ran combat

missions in every shit hole on the

PLANET:

(beat, smile on his face)

So I'm pretty sure I can figure out

a dumb trailer park redneck like

you.

JAMES:

(spitting out water,

SMILES BACK)

Looks like you're on the right

track.

INT HUMVEE SOMEWHERE IN BAGHDAD MORNING

Sanborn drives. James in the passenger seat. Eldridge is in

the gunner's turret. They ride in silence, each man alone

with his thoughts.

TITLE OVER:

DAYS LEFT IN BRAVO COMPANY'S ROTATION: 37

EXT ROAD BEHIND BRITISH EMBASSY DAY

A faded blue Opal sits by a high wall laced with concertina

wire. It's at the end of a narrow cul de sac which backs onto

the embassy.

The narrow cul de sac dog-legs into another street. At the

entrance to the cul de sac, there is a phalanx of SOLDIERS

and our EOD techs.

Sanborn and Eldridge are unloading the robot from the Humvee.

Other soldiers are evacuating OFFICE WORKERS from the

embassy.

38

James seems frustrated with the situation - frowning into the

face of the SERGEANT in charge.

SERGEANT:

An office worker called it in. The

car doesn't belong to anyone who

works at the building. It's been

parked there for an hour. No

license plate and the suspension is

sagging, so there's something heavy

in the trunk -- three or four

hundred pounds. Could be a bomb.

JAMES:

Did you evacuate?

SERGEANT:

We're trying. But the English

Ambassador said we're supposed to

guarantee his safety.

Sanborn approaches, lap top in hand.

SANBORN:

Bot is ready.

EXT ROAD BEHIND EMBASSY

A WOMAN in a Bhurka on a motorcycle rides past the Soldiers

and towards the Opal --

SOLDIER 1

(raising his rifle)

Shit -- What do you want me to do?

SOLDIER 2

Shoot her.

SOLDIER 1

We can't shoot her for riding a

bike...

-- CU the motorcyclist's hands, holding a MOLOTOV COCKTAIL.

It's hidden from view of the soldiers.

-- She rolls the cocktail under the car and darts down an

ALLEY:

The car BURSTS into flames, and the scene breaks into --

PANDEMONIUM --

39

-- Eldridge frantically straps James into the suit, as the

car burns.

-- James takes off his sunglasses, cleans them, calmly.

-- Sanborn runs to the truck and returns with a fire

extinguisher, which he hands to James.

JAMES:

Eldridge - I want you in that

window - keep the alley clear.

Sanborn, cover it from the street.

Sanborn looks at the alley: not a happy place. Eldridge takes

off towards the Embassy entrance.

INT. AMBASSADOR'S OFFICE

AMBASSADOR SIR AUCKLAND GEDDES, the epitome of the old style

of British foreign service: elegant, self assured, a

gentleman adventurer in Seville Row, hoping to improve the

world, certain he'll profit in the attempt.

He's holding court with a group of EXECUTIVES. The executives

are seated around a conference table under the Ambassador's

sway. There's a model of a British Petroleum gas

station/convenience store, in English and Arabic, in the

center of the table.

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

...So in sixteen months time I

believe five million gallons per

day is in fact rather conservative.

SOUNDS out the window. An Executive turns his head nervously.

EXECUTIVE:

But security is still the big

variable?

The Ambassador brushes his hand in dismissal.

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

Only on the margins.

(SMILING)

Everyday, the risks diminish and

the rewards multiply--

Eldridge enters.

40

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

Ah, and here is EOD. You see

gentlemen, everything is fine. The

site is secure. The bomb -- if

there even is one -- will easily be

dispensed by the crack American

team.

ELDRIDGE:

Excuse me.

Eldridge rushes over to the window to see the street.

ELDRIDGE:

(INTO WALKIE)

Blaster Mike, I'm at the window.

SANBORN:

He's stationed himself near the mouth of the alley. Wisps of

smoke and flames in the air.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Copy that. How's the fire look from

up there.

AMBASSADOR'S OFFICE

ELDRIDGE:

(INTO WALKIE)

Flames a meter high, over.

JAMES:

Close to the burning car. SMOKE rising from the hood and the

under carriage awash in FLAMES, like a sleeping dragon.

James sprays the fire-extinguisher and the fire subsides. He

inspects the interior - looks normal enough - and tries to

open the trunk with a pair of pliers, but the handle doesn't

give and snaps off under his effort. He kicks the trunk but

it remains shut. He turns and lumbers up range, jaw set.

SANBORN:

Watching James walk back uprange.

41

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Blaster One, what is going on?

JAMES O.S.

(HEADSET)

Stay put, I'll be right back.

Standing alone in the kill zone at the mouth of the alley.

ELDRIDGE:

(OVER WALKIE)

What's happening?

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Good question. But I'm not liking

it.

HUMVEE:

James is buried inside the Humvee, searching. He tosses what

he doesn't need, and a succession of items comes flying out --

food, clothing, a tarp. Now James walks back towards the Blue

Opal without saying a word. In his hand is a crowbar.

BLUE OPAL:

James winds up and swings hard at the door. Wham! Nope. Wham!

Wham! Wham!

He drops the crowbar and tries the trunk. Presto, it opens,

revealing:
a trunk overflowing with EXPLOSIVES -- ten times

what we've seen before. James is taken aback.

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

We're all in the kill zone on this

one.

SANBORN:

Sanborn stares at James and the car. Great.

42

JAMES:

Now inside the car, slipping on the slimy seats, he cuts the

seat cushions with his knife, and rips out the foam

upholstery, and finds more bad news buried underneath: SIX

ARTILLERY SHELLS and a WIRE that leads to the floorboard and

goes under the carpeting.

James DIVES to the wire and cuts it, then rips open the

carpet to reveal more wire -- and follows the wire through

the car, ripping apart the car PIECE by PIECE, cutting wire

as he goes.

AMBASSADOR'S OFFICE

An executive gets up to look out the window.

ELDRIDGE:

(TO EXECUTIVE)

Sir, I'm going to need you to stay

away from the window.

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

Yes, please, sit down. It's safe.

EXECUTIVE:

Why is he here, if it's safe?

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

He is just an observer.

EXECUTIVE:

(TO ELDRIDGE)

Is that true, we're safe here?

ELDRIDGE:

(DISTRACTED)

In my opinion, no.

Executives take this as a cue to leave. Getting up, shuffling

out of the room. The Ambassador is furious at Eldridge,

advancing on him.

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

This is idiotic. Why not tow the

vehicle away from the building?

ELDRIDGE:

I believe the lane is too narrow

for a Humvee, Sir.

43

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

Donkeys. Use donkeys.

ELDRIDGE:

I don't believe we have any of

those on hand, Sir.

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

Jesus, Lord. You Americans really

are incompetent. No donkeys on

hand? What do you think I'm

talking about, a full squadron of

farm animals?

Eldridge trying to stay on task.

ELDRIDGE:

SIR--

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

(cutting him off)

Go downstairs, grab a farmer or one

of those street vendors and procure

- meaning purchase, buy - several

donkeys. Then tow this car bomb

away from my office.

ELDRIDGE:

(STEELING HIMSELF)

Sir, I'm going to need you to step

away from the window.

Geddes looks out the window at the burning car.

SANBORN:

His walkie barks to life.

JAMES O.S.

(over Sanborn's walkie)

Lot of pink Det cord here.

SANBORN:

(INTO TALKIE)

Where's the switch?

JAMES:

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

Not in the back seat.

44

James is now in the front seat, tearing up the upholstery.

JAMES CONT'D

(HEADSET)

Not in the front seat. Doors. Dash.

A WISP of smoke curls out of the heating vents. James doesn't

notice.

SANBORN O.S.

(WALKIE-TALKIE)

If you haven't found it yet, it's

probably under the car.

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

None of the cord goes under. It's

up here -- somewhere.

SANBORN O.S.

(WALKIE-TALKIE)

Try the weather-stripping.

James rips off a chunk of weather stripping. Just bare metal.

SANBORN:

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

It's been thirty seconds. You need

to bail.

JAMES O.S.

(WALKIE-TALKIE)

I can find it.

JAMES:

He crawls to the back seat, slipping on the foam and slime.

More smoke escapes from the vents.

SANBORN O.S.

(WALKIE-TALKIE)

James, seriously, you need to bail.

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

Roger that. Be right out.

James retraces what's left of the wire, yet again, ignoring

Sanborn. He sits back in the seat, strangely relaxed.

45

EXT. ALLEY

A shadow comes into Sanborn's sight. It's an IRAQI on a

bicycle, riding straight towards him.

ELDRIDGE O.S.

(WALKIE-TALKIE)

Incoming.

Sanborn raises his rifle. The man peddles on, waving his

hand.

BICYCLIST:

(IN ARABIC)

Where is the entrance to this

building?

SANBORN:

Imshee! Imshee!

The bicyclist looks at the car.

ELDRIDGE:

Trains his scope on the head of the bicyclist.

ELDRIDGE:

(INTO WALKIE)

I'm going to burn him on three.

One.

Geddes just looks at the big man at the window.

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

Oh, that's rich. Give him a count.

Through Eldridge's scope the bicyclist grows. He flicks off

his safety.

ELDRIDGE:

(INTO WALKIE)

Blaster Mike, do you copy?

(TO HIMSELF) )

Please don't make me kill you.

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

Been in combat very long?

46

SANBORN:

SANBORN:

(into walkie to Eldridge)

Copy that.

(TO JAMES)

James, you need to get out. There's

another potential bomber here.

BACK TO JAMES:

JAMES:

(TO SANBORN)

So shoot him.

BACK TO SANBORN:

BICYCLIST:

(IN ARABIC)

I need to make a delivery down

there. Please let me through.

AMBASSADOR'S OFFICE

ELDRIDGE O.S.

(INTO WALKIE)

Two!!

SANBORN:

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Negative, Negative. Hold your fire.

(shouting at bicyclist)

Get the f*ck out of here!

The bicyclist does an about face, but not before casting a

last suspicious glance back at the car bomb.

Sanborn refocuses on the Opal; he's losing his cool.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Blaster One, do you copy, over?

47

JAMES:

Still sitting in the back seat. Now he sees the smoking vent.

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

Gimmie a minute.

ELDRIDGE:

Eyes never leaving the street below, flicks the safety of his

rifle back on.

Geddes notices the sweat on Eldridge's face, and feels a

sudden surge of sympathy for the younger man.

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

Well done. That took great self

control.

ELDRIDGE:

Thank you, sir. Again, I apologize

for the intrusion into --

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

Yes, but I doubt the insurgents

will appreciate your restraint.

(in a kindly, paternal tone)

If I may give you a piece of free

advice, next time, pull the

trigger.

ELDRIDGE:

Well, actually, the uh--rules --

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

That's the only way out, I'm

afraid. When you're in a losing

battle, you have to draw blood. No

insurgency in modern history has

ever been truly defeated, so all

you can do is manage your exit.

Clear a wide swath of bodies so you

have room to withdraw.

Suddenly the office door opens and a YOUNG AIDE appears.

AIDE:

The building is empty, Sir, except

for you.

48

Geddes nods, grabs his coat and moves to Eldridge for one

last jab.

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

I'm sorry to say it, but that's

just how it's done. You need to

show some vigor. In Kenya, we

executed the insurgents in their

beds, until they gave us room.

Falklands, the same. That's just

how it's done.

Eldridge looks up, he's had enough. Swings around.

ELDRIDGE:

Is that how you did it in Northern

Ireland? With murder?

AMBASSADOR GEDDES

(SMILING)

There you are. Now you're showing

some vigor.

And leaves.

ELDRIDGE:

(INTO WALKIE)

J.T, the building is clear now. We

can pull out.

SANBORN:

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Roger that. (to James) Will, we can

pull out. The building is

evacuated.

(NO ANSWER)

James?

Still no answer.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Blaster One, we are cleared to

leave this fucking site. Walk away.

Do you copy, over?

49

JAMES:

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

Stay where you are, Sanborn. I'm

not done.

And with that, James turns off his walkie. CLICK.

ELDRIDGE:

ELDRIDGE:

(INTO WALKIE)

J.T., are we moving?

SANBORN:

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Negative. Negative.

ELDRIDGE O.S.

(OVER TALKIE)

I didn't copy that. Did you say

negative?

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Roger. We are staying until James

is finished.

(NERVOUSLY)

James, what's the situation?

(NO ANSWER)

Goddamn, Will, I need a report.

JAMES:

James' POV. He sees in the corner of the back seat, having

just wiped away a puddle of fire retardant, a little black

box, with a wire leading out of it. He grabs the box.

JAMES:

Got it.

BLUE OPAL:

The black box goes flying out of the car.

50

EXT MOUTH OF CUL DE SAC

Sanborn is furious, stalking ahead of James as they return

uprange.

Sanborn passes Eldridge, who has come down from the

ambassador's office.

SANBORN:

Take the suit.

HUMVEE:

James' face looks flushed, red, sweat dripping. Eldridge

begins ripping apart the Velcro from James' legs.

MOMENTS LATER:

James sits in the car, smoking.

Sanborn leans into the window.

SANBORN:

Hey, James.

JAMES:

Yeah?

Sanborn JABS him in the jaw, knocking the cigarette out.

SANBORN:

Don't you turn off your walkie

again.

Sanborn stalks off and James explodes out of the car.

He crouches down -- searching the floor of the Humvee. Sees

his cigarette, damaged and dirty on the mucky floor, but

still burning. He extracts it and carefully cleans it off,

then jumps on the hood of the Humvee and goes back to his

smoke. He's calm as can be. The Marlboro man.

As he puffs away, watching Sanborn converse with a group of

SOLDIERS, a JEEP drives up.

COLONEL REED jumps out wearing a uniform covered in army

bling - medals he won a long time ago, before he traveled up

the food chain. An AIDE trots along beside him.

51

COLONEL REED:

Hi boys.

James turns around.

JAMES:

(UNCHARACTERISTICALLY

AWED)

Hello, sir.

COLONEL REED:

(points to James)

That you in the bomb suit?

JAMES:

Yes, sir, it was.

COLONEL REED:

(reading his name tag)

You were the guy in the flaming

car, Sergeant James?

James is concerned.

JAMES:

Yes, sir.

COLONEL REED:

Well hot damn, that was some hot

shit. You're a wild man, you know

that?

The Colonel spins his head around to Eldridge.

COLONEL REED:

He's a wild man, you know that?

(back to James)

Let me shake your hand.

Extending his meaty paw.

JAMES:

Thank you, sir.

Slapping him on the back.

COLONEL REED:

How many bombs have you disarmed,

Sergeant?

James seems slightly self-conscious. Eldridge listens in.

52

JAMES:

Hell, I'm not sure. A lot.

COLONEL REED:

Sergeant, I asked you a question.

JAMES:

One seven three. Counting today,

Sir.

COLONEL REED:

Holy shit. One hundred and seventy

fucking three bombs. God damn. That

must be a record. So tell me,

what's the best way to go about

disarming one of these things?

James doesn't answer as he looks at the black box. Finally:

JAMES:

The way you don't die.

COLONEL REED:

(LAUGHING)

Good one, spoken like a wild man.

(LOOKING AROUND)

I'd like a picture with this man -

anybody here have a camera?

A nearby soldier holds a digital camera up to his eye.

Colonel Reed smiles big, arm draped around James's shoulders.

SNAP.

JAMES:

Thanks, sir, thank you very much.

Sir, couldn't do it without my team

(looking around for Sanborn) Hey,

Sanborn! Get over here!

Sanborn trots over, glowering.

JAMES:

(to Col. Reed)

This here is Sergeant Sanborn, the

key to the whole team.

(rubbing it in)

And Specialist Eldridge.

Colonel Reed extends his hand. Sanborn is shocked.

COLONEL REED:

You guys should all get Bronze

stars and I'm gonna recommend it.

53

JAMES ELDRIDGE

Thank you, Sir. Thank you, Sir.

SANBORN:

Thanks, Sir.

COLONEL REED:

Good luck, boys. Keep on keeping

on.

FEW FEET AWAY:

Out of earshot Colonel Reed addresses his aide.

COLONEL REED:

You wouldn't catch me walking down

on no fuckin' bomb. Hell no,

you're not gonna get me in that

monkey suit.

HUMVEE:

James sits in the front with his IPOD earphones on. Lost to

the world.

Eldridge starts to climb into the turret. Before he does he

speaks softly to Sanborn.

ELDRIDGE:

Bronze star?

SANBORN:

I don't care, (not caring that

James may overhear) the guy is not

safe. You can have mine and I'll

pin it on your coffin.

ELDRIDGE:

So you do think I'm going to die.

SANBORN:

F*ck, Owen. I don't know. Probably

not.

CUT TO:

54

EXT CAMP VICTORY WEAPONS DISCHARGE STATION AFTERNOON

James, Sanborn and Eldridge are discharging their weapons,

dry firing them into steel drums. Clicking of ammunition.

Long shadows.

EXT CAMP VICTORY FIRST SERGEANT'S TRAILER AFTERNOON

James steps out, grabs a smoke, as a soccer ball rolls beside

him. It's Pele's. Inviting James to play.

PELE:

(SHOUTING)

Ball! Ball!

James picks it up, and carries it over to a pile of sandbags

and sits down. Pele runs up.

PELE:

Give it.

JAMES:

Give me my five bucks and I'll give

you your ball.

PELE:

Five dollars - for what?

JAMES:

Those DVDs were crap. They were so

fuzzy I couldn't see a thing.

PELE:

No, impossible.

JAMES:

I'm telling you, they were fuzzy.

PELE:

That's Hollywood, my man. Special

effects.

The boy's chutzpa amuses James. He's starting to like this

kid.

JAMES:

What's your name anyway?

PELE:

Pele.

55

JAMES:

Oh yeah - like the soccer player?

PELE:

Yes, the great Pele

James gets up. Motions for the kid to give him space.

JAMES:

Ready? One, two --

He smashes the ball in Pele's direction -- it flies up. Pele

blocks it easily, kicking high in the air.

JAMES:

-- three. Shit.

Pele comes back over to James, who has sat back down. He

notices the bomb patch on James' uniform.

PELE:

(pointing to the patch)

So you are EOD -- boomala boomala.

It's fun, no?

JAMES:

I like to disarm them. Tell you

what, kid, I'll buy another DVD

from you but if this one is fuzzy

you better watch out. Cause I'm

coming for you.

INT CAMP VICTORY MESS TENT DAY

Sanborn and Eldridge eat together. In the corner of the room,

James is eating alone in a sea of soldiers.

INT CAMP VICTORY HEAD SHED

Eldridge and the psychiatrist are back in session.

ELDRIDGE:

(LEANING FORWARD)

What if I should be pulling the

trigger more often? Killing people?

Bomb makers.

LT. COL. CAMBBRIDGE

That's not your mission. Your

mission is to protect life. Render

safe.

56

ELDRIDGE:

But what if I need to change the

mission - to survive? That

bicyclist I told you about? I'm

ninety percent sure he was an

insurgent. I could have shot him.

Not my mission. But it would have

been legal.

LT. COL. CAMBBRIDGE

You don't have to turn into an

animal just to protect yourself.

ELDRIDGE:

You don't?

LT. COL. CAMBBRIDGE

No.

ELDRIDGE:

And you know this from your

extensive work in the field.

LT. COL. CAMBBRIDGE

I've done my field duty.

ELDRIDGE:

Where was that? Yale?

LT. COL CAMBRIDGE

Look, Specialist, if you want to

stop talking to me, you can. These

sessions are voluntary. You chose

to be here, talking to me, just

like you chose the Army, just like

you chose EOD. You're in an elite

volunteer unit. Not many guys have

the IQ or the nerves to do it. Be

proud of it.

Eldridge considers this. The psychiatrist taps his pencil.

Waiting.

ELDRIDGE:

Keep the soldier in the fight and

the fight in the soldier, right

Doc?

Eldridge puts out his hand, and they shake.

57

ELDRIDGE:

Seriously, I appreciate what you're

saying. But you need to get out

from behind this desk more.

INT CAMP VICTORY LAUNDRY ROOM NIGHT

James is watching his clothes dry as they tumble around the

machine.

Sanborn comes in with a pile of laundry. Sees James.

SANBORN:

Hey.

JAMES:

Hey.

Sanborn stuffs his laundry into a machine. James is still

watching the drier, starts to speak.

JAMES:

(QUIETLY)

If you ever get in my shoes and put

on the bomb suit you'll see your

whole mind changes when you're in

front of a bomb. You lose 20 IQ

points just from the weight of the

suit. Your brain gets so much

adrenaline that you hallucinate.

Turn off the walkie?

Sanborn stares straight ahead.

JAMES:

You'll be lucky if all you do is

turn off the walkie.

Off the spinning dryer, we --

CUT TO:

EXT BAGHDAD SOMEWHERE IN THE CITY MID AFTERNOON

Heat playing tricks with light on the ribbon of road -

imaginary water pooling on the surface.

Again, the auditory landscape of Baghdad: distant CALL to

prayer and the incessant RAT-TAT-TAT of gunfire.

58

TITLE OVER:

DAYS LEFT IN BRAVO COMPANY'S ROTATION: 23

James is walking uprange with a large artillery shell. It

looks very heavy and he's sweating profusely.

He brings the bomb to the Humvee where Sanborn and Eldridge

are waiting. They're also suffering in the heat. They take

the shell from him, and stow it in the truck.

JAMES:

How are we on water? I'm dying.

ELDRIDGE:

J.T.'s got some.

JAMES:

(TO SANBORN)

Water?

SANBORN:

No. I'm all out.

James just looks at him.

CUT TO:

EXT BAGHDAD PURGATORY DAY

We're at the south end of an EXPLOSIVES DISPOSAL RANGE,

nicknamed, `Purgatory' -- an empty expanse of dirt pockmarked

with craters and bordered on one side by a small number of

dwellings.

BOOM!!! A huge bomb explodes, sending dust and debris into

the air in a mini mushroom cloud...We move across the field

with the cloud, and settle where our EOD team is positioned

by their Humvee.

Sanborn has a remote detonator in his hand and is about to

blow it.

SANBORN:

Fire in the hole. Fire in the hole

James interrupts --

JAMES:

Hold on a second. I think I forgot

my gloves back there.

59

James jumps into the Humvee and drives down range, reversing

the course we just took. It's a long way to the explosives,

at least half a mile, and Sanborn and Eldridge watch him

recede in the distance.

James is a tiny figure, ambling around the explosives pile.

There's nobody else around.

Sanborn looks down at the detonator in his hand. Eldridge

notices the look.

ELDRIDGE:

Those detonators break all the

time. Accidental misfire.

SANBORN:

With that shot laid out like that,

it could be a UXO that just cooks

off.

ELDRIDGE:

Boom.

SANBORN:

Boom.

ELDRIDGE:

A shot that size would obliterate

everything in its path.

SANBORN:

His helmet, you'd have that.

ELDRIDGE:

Oh yeah, there'd be half a helmet

somewhere.

SANBORN:

And little bits of hair stuck to

it.

ELDRIDGE:

Little bits of hair.

SANBORN:

We'd have to recommend a major

change in techniques and protocols

so that kind of accident never

happens again. You'd write the

first draft of the report.

ELDRIDGE:

Are you serious?

60

SANBORN:

I'm not going to write it.

ELDRIDGE:

No, are you serious about killing

him?

-- Sanborn looks up at Eldridge. Smiles.

James starts driving back uprange.

CUT TO:

EXT FIELD OUTSKIRTS OF BAGHDAD LATE AFTERNOON

Another dusty nowhere. The EOD team is stopped in the middle

of a road that cuts through a swath of desert.

At the roadside are several SOLDIERS and their vehicles. The

soldiers look sunburned, tired.

Sanborn and Eldridge are near the soldiers, looking down the

road where --

TITLE OVER:

DAYS LEFT IN BRAVO COMPANY'S ROTATION: 17

CRATER:

James is inside a CRATER in the middle of the road, working

on an EIGHT-FOOT MISSILE. He attaches A ROCKET WRENCH, a

metal band with two explosive tubes, to the nose of the

missile -- and flips a switch.

The two tubes ignite like a firecracker, shooting small

flames. Then the flames grow and band spins and FLIES off,

ZIPPING into the air above James' head like a metal frisbee,

landing fifty feet away.

James peers into the nose cone. A hollow void.

SANBORN:

(OVER WALKIE)

James? Do you copy? James?

He climbs to the top of the crater.

61

JAMES:

(INTO HEADSET)

It's empty.

EXT/INT CRATER MOMENTS LATER

The soldiers are gathered around the pit to see EOD work.

It's not everyday you get to see an eight foot missile towed

out of a hole.

James is down in the pit. Sanborn hands him a chain. Working

together, they wrap it around the missile. When they're done,

Sanborn signals Eldridge, who is behind the wheel of the

Humvee, ready to tow the missile out of the crater.

SANBORN:

(TO ELDRIDGE)

Rock it out, slowly.

The chain creaks, then stops. The tires spin uselessly.

SANBORN (CONT'D)

Try gunning it.

The tires only spin faster.

Sanborn moves to get a closer look. His knees come very near

to the creaking chain.

JAMES:

(seeing this from the pit)

Sanborn, watch that chain.

SANBORN:

It's alright.

When...

KA-BOOOOM -- the sky flashes orange overhead --James flat on

his back, dazed. A shard of metal ZOOMS into the pit, missing

him by inches -- as the soldiers dive into the pit for cover,

shouting "RPG, RPG!"

HUMVEE:

Eldridge, who is in the driver's seat, starts shooting his M4

rifle.

ELDRIDGE:

(SHOUTING)

What am I shooting at?

62

Sanborn jumping into the Humvee.

SANBORN:

(SHOUTING BACK)

I don't fucking know! -- but James

is down!!!

He fires in the same direction as Eldridge. The Humvee gets

peppered with bullets. The armor holds. But it doesn't look

like it's going to last for much longer.

Sanborn grabs Eldridge. And they dive back into the pit,

joining James and THREE SOLDIERS: a SERGEANT one PRIVATE and

a CORPORAL who is a SNIPER.

James is sitting up, taking off his bomb suit. He appears to

be unharmed.

ROAD:

One of the soldiers is in the turret of a Humvee, firing the

big .50 machine gun in all directions.

CRATER:

SERGEANT:

(TO SNIPER)

Get up there with your Barret and

help him out.

[Note:
Barret is the large .50 SNIPER RIFLE carried by one of

the soldiers, a specialty gun with an extremely long range.]

The SNIPER hoists the heavy gun to the edge of the crater and

looks down the scope.

As he does, Sanborn, Eldridge, and James, and the other

soldiers pop up and lay down covering fire. Then they quickly

pop back down.

ROAD:

The soldier in the Humvee is still churning his machine gun,

shooting in all directions, expending hundreds of bullets a

minute.

63

CRATER:

SNIPER:

(TO SERGEANT)

I don't see nothing out there.

Chris is shooting wild.

SERGEANT:

(INTO WALKIE)

Hey Chris - can you hear me? Chill

out on the fifty man.

ROAD:

The soldier in the Humvee fires a few more seconds. Picks up

his walkie.

SOLDIER:

(INTO WALKIE)

Copy that.

-- As a bullet hits him in the neck, killing him instantly.

CRATER:

SNIPER:

Holy shit. He killed Chris.

Everyone in the pit pops up and fires in every direction, a

knee-jerk response.

A soldier picks up his walkie and keys it. We can't hear him

talking over the retorts of the soldiers firing rifles.

The men are pinned down, paralyzed by fear. Sniper fire from

one of the buildings rakes the top of the crater.

-- Bullets kick up sand on the far side of the crater,

opposite the men.

-- Eldridge looks like he's having a heart attack. This is

how it ends, he thinks.

--James seems preternaturally calm.

After a while --

JAMES:

We should save our ammo at least

until we can see these bastards.

64

The Sergeant takes off his pack, and pulls out a pair of

binoculars. Inching up to the edge of the crater, where he

joins the SNIPER

SERGEANT:

(TO SNIPER)

Do you see anything.

SNIPER:

It's got to be coming from those

buildings. Somebody moved on the

roof of the tall one there.

We see the buildings in the distance. They look too far away

to be threatening.

SERGEANT:

Hit him if you see him again.

As suddenly --

The SNIPER is hit in the breastbone.

SERGEANT:

Oh f*ck. Oh f*ck. Jesus.

In the pit:
total meltdown. This is it. The day you die.

Everyone starts talking at once.

SOLDIER SANBORN

Man we got to get out of I'll get on the Barret.

here.

ELDRIDGE SERGEANT

Don't do that J.T. Shit. Okay. We need help.

(INTO WALKIE) )

This is Alpha Nine. We're in

deep shit. Over.

DISPATCH (O.S.) JAMES

Roger that, Alpha Nine. Go (to Sergeant)

ahead. Let me see those binocs.

The Sergeant hands the binocs to James.

SERGEANT:

(INTO WALKIE)

We are taking incoming fire. I have

two KIA. The grid --

James gives Sanborn a look. He leans in to say something to

Sanborn, which we can't hear.

65

Over the Sergeant's walkie:

DISPATCH (O.S.)

I know where you are Alpha. Go

ahead.

Sanborn crawls into the SNIPER's position, moving the dead

body out of the way. James follows next to him to observe

with the binocs

SERGEANT:

(INTO WALKIE)

Copy that. Okay. Can you get us

some help.

(to James and Sanborn)

Don't do that fellas.

Sanborn is already shooting. The SNIPER RIFLE puts down

bullets slowly. It has a clip of six rounds. One by one

Sanborn expends them.

JAMES:

Eldridge, I need ammo.

Eldridge pulls two clips of ammunition off the bloody chest

of the dead sniper.

JAMES:

(looking through the

BINOCS)

You're shooting high.

Eldridge hands the ammo to Sanborn, who jams the clip in the

rifle, and then adjusts the sight. He pulls the trigger. The

gun jams.

JAMES:

(TO SANBORN)

Clear it, clear it. (the clip is

removed, passed to James) Eldridge

clean the bullets. The blood is

making them jam.

Eldridge is handed the bloody clips. He pops the bullets out,

one by one, and tries to clean them. But the blood is sticky.

A bullet slips out of his hand, rolls down the crater. The

soldier helps him by picking up the bullet and cleaning it.

James looks back to see Eldridge's progress.

JAMES:

Spit on `em Eldridge. Spit. Rub.

Spit rub.

66

Eldridge is trying. He's really trying.

JAMES:

Come on, Eldridge. I need ammo.

James sees that Eldridge is not getting it and he draws close

to him.

JAMES:

You're doing good, man. (putting

his hand on Eldridge's shoulder).

You're okay.

Eldridge nods. His mind is there but his hands are disobeying

him. James attempts to clear his head.

JAMES:

I will keep you safe, Owen, that's

my job.

ELDRIDGE:

Roger.

The soldier hands the ammo to James.

JAMES:

(to both of them)

Alright. Scan your sectors.

Then Eldridge positions himself so he's looking in the

opposite direction that James and Sanborn are looking.

Sanborn fires two more rounds.

JAMES:

(CALMLY)

Still high, adjust your windage.

Elevation.

SANBORN:

Got it.

SNIPER RIFLE POV

The roof of the tall building in the distance bobs in and out

of view. At this great range, the scope dances.

67

CRATER:

JAMES:

He's on the left by the smoke

stack. Guy in white.

Sanborn fires once. He turns his head away from the gun and

makes an audible exhale to release tension -- the sniper

breath control technique.

JAMES:

Good. There's another one just

behind him. Up a meter.

Sanborn fires once. Audible exhale.

JAMES:

Good.

James scans the area. Silence.

CRATER AN HOUR LATER

The sun lower in the sky. Around the pit, the fallen soldier

has been pushed to one side, and the living are hanging on to

their sanity.

Eldridge and the remaining soldier have exhausted their water

supply.

Sanborn and James are in EXACTLY the same position as when we

left them. Focused. Sanborn's finger on the trigger. Sanborn

breathes out, the sniper breathing. He's been doing this for

an hour, time and the desert heat have taken their toll.

Sanborn blinks sweat away.

SANBORN POV:

The scope BLURS. He regains focus.

JAMES:

Noticing Sanborn's fatigue.

JAMES:

Eldridge, grab me the juice out of

an MRE.

68

Eldridge digs around the DEAD SOLDIER'S backpack and

retrieves a packet of juice, which he passes to James.

James inserts the straw into the juice pack.

He hesitates, not sure if Sanborn will accept the gesture

after all the hostility that's passed between them. But he

brings the straw to Sanborn's lips.

At first, Sanborn keeps his attention on the rifle scope. But

then he opens his parched mouth, and sips.

--Suddenly, there's movement, a flutter of fabric, in the

distance off Eldridge's shoulder. He stiffens.

ELDRIDGE:

Uh, Will.

JAMES:

Yeah.

ELDRIDGE:

At my one o'clock. Two hundred

meters. Something moved behind a

parked car. Either a tan dog or a

man in a light-colored shirt.

JAMES:

Deal with it.

ELDRIDGE:

Uh--Ok.

Eldridge looks down his scope, unsure. James keeps his focus

forward on the building.

ELDRIDGE:

I don't think it's a dog. Should I

fire?

JAMES:

It's your call.

Eldridge shifts his weight onto his rifle.

There's a flutter of movement in the distance.

Eldridge pulls the trigger. Spraying the car in the distance.

Empties his entire magazine.

From behind the car, something falls to the ground, and the

tiniest sliver of a rifle clatters after it.

69

The soldier in the pit comes over to Eldridge to see what

he's done.

SOLDIER:

Good hit, man.

James and Sanborn don't turn around.

Eldridge slumps, spent.

CRATER TWO HOURS LATER

Sun casting long shadows.

James and Sanborn in the same focused position. Eldridge

still watches the rear.

The soldier in the pit reaches his breaking point.

SOLDIER:

I'm going to go for the Humvee.

What do you say?

SERGEANT:

I don't know.

SOLDIER:

We've been here two hours and they

ain't seen nothing. I'm going to go

for it.

And with that he dashes up and out of the crater.

Sanborn keeps his eye on the scope.

ROAD:

The soldier runs to the Humvee, gets in, and turns the

vehicle around, driving it back to the pit.

He dives out of the vehicle and back to the pit.

SOLDIER:

(EXCITED)

Those fuckers are dead.

SERGEANT:

What if they hit us with an RPG

when we get out? What if they were

just waiting for us to get in the

Humvee.

70

SOLDIER:

It's safe. I'm telling you

(TO SANBORN)

You got those fuckers.

The soldier jumps out of the pit. Stands in the middle of the

road. A sitting duck.

SOLDIER:

(to men in the pit)

See? You got them.

(turning to building,

SHOUTING)

We got you mother fuckers. You're

fucking dead Hajis. Haha.

The soldier pulls down his pants and moons the building.

SOLDIER:

Kiss this mother fucker!!!

James lowers his binocs. Sanborn lowers his rifle.

They exchange a mirthful look.

CUT TO:

INT CAMP VICTORY JAMES' TRAILER NIGHT

James and Sanborn face each other; both men are red-faced,

drunk, swaying.

JAMES:

Ready?

Sanborn nods. Wham! Sanborn reels back from the punch. James

is standing over him. Glowering. He looks good. The rage is

like a vitamin.

JAMES:

Now we're even.

Sanborn stumbles back, recovers. Around them in James' room

are the remains of an Irish wake: two bottles of Scotch,

already empty. A third half gone. Cigarettes burned down in

an ashtray.

SANBORN:

Be right back. I gotta piss.

As Sanborn stumbles out, James turns to Eldridge

71

JAMES:

One more, boy.

ELDRIDGE:

(imitating a young

RECRUIT)

Yes, Sir, Sergeant James Sir.

You're not very good drunk are you

SIR!! You're a good fighter, Sir.

Natural born warrior, Sir.

JAMES:

(SEMI-SERIOUSLY)

You acquitted yourself well on the

field of battle today.

ELDRIDGE:

Really? I got scared.

JAMES:

Everyone is a coward at some point

in their lives.

Sanborn comes in. He sees a box under James' bed. Sanborn

picks up the box under James' bed and plops it on the table,

intentionally breaking up the love-fest between James and

Eldridge.

SANBORN:

Hey Owen, look! Will has

possessions! I didn't know you

owned anything, Will.

Sanborn pulls a picture frame out of the box. It's a picture

of a baby boy. Eldridge leans in.

JAMES:

That's my son. A real tough little

bastard. Like me.

SANBORN:

So you're married?

James is uncomfortable with the subject. Intimacy isn't easy

for him. He rolls his eyes, nods.

JAMES:

Well, she was my girlfriend, we had

a baby, then she became my wife,

then we got divorced. (pause) I

thought we got divorced. (pause)

But she's still in the house, and

she says we're still together.

(MORE)

72

JAMES (CONT'D)

So, I don't know. What does that

make her?

SANBORN:

Dumb, to be with you?

JAMES:

She ain't dumb. She's loyal.

SANBORN:

My problem is the one girl who I

like keeps talking about kids.

Kids. Kids.

JAMES:

(TO SANBORN)

Give her your sperm, stud.

SANBORN:

Nah. I'm not ready.

(looking around the box,

finds a circuit board.) )

And what's this?

Sanborn sees there are many such parts in the box.

JAMES:

Bomb parts.

SANBORN:

No shit. Why do you have them?

James reaches into the box. Pulls out a circuit. Looks at it

admiringly.

JAMES:

This is from the Blue Opal. (to

himself) It's wild, isn't it, to

hold something in your hands that

could have killed you. (he tosses

the board to Sanborn)

Eldridge leans over, pulls another board out of the box. He's

fascinated by James' obsession.

ELDRIDGE:

What's this one from?

JAMES:

(warming to the attention)

That was one of our early roadside

bombs we disarmed, the one with --

73

SANBORN:

(looking at the board)

--it's a piece of junk from Radio

Shack.

James shrugs. He reaches over to get the circuit board from

Sanborn, who clearly doesn't share his fascination.

ELDRIDGE:

IT'S INTERESTING

JAMES:

I agree.

In the distance, sound of BOMBS going off. The men pause to

listen.

SANBORN:

(TO ELDRIDGE)

The only reason he likes you is

because you act like his bitch, and

you look up to him, and he likes to

be the top dog.

JAMES:

I agree with that too.

ELDRIDGE:

Oh no, (picking up James' pistol)

The humiliation is too great to

bear. (he pulls the trigger while

slipping out the clip). Good-bye

world.

The gun clicks harmlessly. Eldridge laughs.

A gust of wind rattles the front door.

SANBORN:

That punch was harder than I hit

you. I'm owed a good one.

JAMES:

Alright.

ELDRIDGE:

Hold on, we need some rules. No

face shots.

James lifts off his shirt, getting into fighting mode.

Eldridge picks up a marker and begins to draw a bulls-eye on

James' stomach, stopping when he sees a cluster of scars.

74

JAMES:

Beauty mark, my mother dropped me

at birth.

ELDRIDGE:

Looks like frag scars.

Sanborn slugs James. James doubles over, loses his balance

and falls back. James gets up, laughing so hard it hurts.

Tears of laughter falling down his face.

JAMES:

Ahhhh! Excellent. Now your turn.

Sanborn braces for the blow. James gets ready to strike, then

fakes a swing -- his fist stops just shy of Sanborn's cheek.

Sanborn's eyes go wide as -- James nails him with his other

hand, right in the gut -- Sanborn doubles over.

JAMES:

(LAUGHING)

Looks like it hurt.

Moving forward aggressively, suddenly James looks like he

could kill. A complete change in his demeanor, as wind rocks

the trailer, causing the light bulb to rattle and cast a

STRANGE SHADOW:

-- then James rushes Sanborn, tackling him -- they crash into

the corner of the room -- in a flash James is on top of

Sanborn, pinning him -- Sanborn moves to punch James but

James pins his hands -- James taps Sanborn lightly on the

cheek, caressing his cheek.

JAMES:

There there. It'll be okay.

SANBORN:

Get off of me you freak.

Sanborn tries to buck James off. Forcefully raising his hips.

JAMES:

Oh yeah, ride me, ride me.

Sanborn reaches for his boot knife. He flicks it open, brings

the blade to James' throat. Their eyes lock. James dismounts,

laughing. Stumbles back to the table.

75

JAMES:

You're alright, Sanborn. Let's have

another.

CUT TO:

EXT CAMP VICTORY LATER

The wind is blowing harder, kicking up sand. Overhead, a full

moon is blazing.

James looks up at the moon. It's dazzling. James and Eldridge

support Sanborn as they weave towards Eldridge's trailer.

JAMES:

I got him.

Eldridge passes Sanborn off to James, and heads up the stairs

to his trailer.

ELDRIDGE:

Later.

Sanborn sags. James pulls him back. They walk a little

farther to Sanborn's trailer --

JAMES:

Okay. Here we go big boy.

And half carries Sanborn up the steps.

INT. SANBORN'S TRAILER

James eases Sanborn onto a cot, and as he falls onto the cot,

the WHITE ENVELOPE falls out of his pocket.

SANBORN:

Do you think I have what it takes

to get in the bomb suit?

James didn't expect this.

JAMES:

Sure.

James picks up the white envelope and puts it on Sanborn's

night table.

He looks back. Sanborn is already asleep.

76

EXT CAMP VICTORY AFTER MIDNIGHT

The whole camp is asleep but James is standing outside,

holding a satellite phone. He's swaying. Drunk.

CONNIE O.S.

(SLEEPILY)

James, my God, what time is it? Are

you alright.

Pause.

CONNIE O.S.

James?

JAMES:

(SLIGHTLY SLURRED)

I'm doing fine, babe. How are you?

CONNIE O.S.

Well, you woke me up. But - ah - we

- we're fine. (getting more lively)

Will junior said "bobba" He means

bottle, but he's talking, Will.

James looks around the camp. All he sees is its immensity,

the tremendous scope of the operation. This is military

might, raw power. As good as it gets.

JAMES:

Great. I'll call you tomorrow when

you're awake.

CONNIE O.S.

Will, I can't wait until you come

home.

Silence.

CONNIE (CONT'D)

Will?

JAMES:

(trying his best to mean

IT)

Yeah, me too.

CONNIE O.S.

Will you call me again soon?

JAMES:

Sure. Bye honey.

77

CONNIE O.S.

Bye honey.

James hits the END button on the phone and walks up the steps

to his trailer --

INT JAMES TRAILER LATER THAT NIGHT

He stumbles inside, drops the satellite phone down on his

desk, next to his bomb suit helmet, and sinks into bed. He

lies there, clothed and awake, and stares at the helmet,

looking at his reflection in the polished glass.

Then James reaches over to the helmet and lifts it up, hefts

it.

He puts the helmet on his head.

Alone in his bed, wearing his helmet.

Smiling behind the glass, for he now he can sense the bomb,

and feel his nearness to death.

We hear the RASP of his breathing.

CUT TO:

INT SANBORN'S TRAILER MORNING

Sanborn blinks awake to a painfully bright sun. He shifts his

attention to the white envelope on the table.

INT CAMP VICTORY WAREHOUSE DAY

A SOLDIER wearing glasses is talking to Sanborn.

SOLDIER:

What can I do for you?

SANBORN:

I have something?

SOLDIER:

Remains?

SANBORN:

No.

SOLDIER:

Personal effects?

78

SANBORN:

Yeah.

Sanborn reaches into his back pocket, withdraws the white

envelope. He opens it. Inside are Thompson's DOG TAGS. He

crumples the envelope, lets it fall to the floor. And grips

the tags tightly.

SOLDIER:

What's the name?

SANBORN:

Thompson, Matt. Sergeant EOD. Baker

Company.

SOLDIER:

(looking at a form)

Okay let me see. He's at three-

three-eight. (looking) third aisle

down the hall.

Sanborn turns to look, and now we see where he's standing: in

the MORTUARY AFFAIRS UNIT, in a large room filled with white

boxes. It looks like an art installation, each white box

spaced evenly in a cavernous space.

SOLDIER:

I'll walk you over there.

They walk down the aisles, passing rows and rows of white

boxes, and finally stop.

The soldier opens one.

Inside are a pair of boots. A stack of clothes. Books.

Photographs. The remains of a life.

SOLDIER:

Here you go. Did you know him?

Sanborn places the tags on the uniform in the box.

SANBORN:

Yeah, I did. He was my team leader.

SOLDIER:

Oh, I'm sorry brother.

They walk up the aisles, again passing the rows of white

boxes.

At the entrance, Sanborn turns. The soldier offers his hand.

They shake warmly.

79

SANBORN:

Thank you. Thank you.

The soldier, a little perplexed at Sanborn's gratitude,

doesn't know what to say.

Sanborn leaves, notices the empty ENVELOPE on the floor.

Litter. He picks it up and stuffs it back into his pocket.

INT MESS TENT DAY

James and Eldridge eat in hung-over silence.

Tired.

After a while...

ELDRIDGE:

Tough night.

JAMES:

Hell, yeah.

Eldridge nods.

Wind picks up. The whole tent shakes.

JAMES:

Aren't you supposed to be at your

shrink?

ELDRIDGE:

I fired him. I said, Doc, shooting

a man had a salubrious effect on

me.

JAMES:

What the hell does that mean?

ELDRIDGE:

Healthy.

JAMES:

You're healthy? Well, why not.

They go back to eating.

Sanborn joins James and Eldridge.

SANBORN:

What's up team?

80

They nod silently as he sits. Sluggishly he throws his hand

down on the table.

SANBORN:

Can I get a Huu-haa?

Eldridge slaps a tired hand on top of Sanborn's. James

follows suit. They wearily lift their arms in mock

enthusiasm.

All at once:
"Huu-haa."

Sanborn wolfs down some food.

JAMES:

I'm going back to sleep now.

ELDRIDGE:

Let's roll.

They get up to bus their trays. And nearing the dirty-tray

bin, the flaps of the tent billow more and more vigorously.

Outside, a storm is brewing.

Each man unfurls the checkered scarf around their neck and

wraps their face for the wind.

EXT CAMP VICTORY DAY

Wind rakes sand and dust over the tent city, giving it an

otherworldly aspect. Throngs of men and vehicles fight the

swirl. It impedes their every move.

The three men continue onwards, as the intensity of the storm

grows.

EXT HEAD SHED DAY

The storm is HOWLING now. Visibility is reduced to a few

feet. Red sand blows mercilessly. It's Mars.

TITLE OVER:

DAYS LEFT IN BRAVO COMPANY'S ROTATION: 16

As they approach the head shed, a Humvee comes blasting out

of the storm from the other direction. It skids to a halt in

front of them.

Three wounded EOD TECHS and an EOD TEAM LEADER tumble out.

81

They look awful. One step shy of death. One man's face is

smeared brown. Blood oozes from a deep gash in his cheek.

Another tech is covered in black soot. Their hands still

clutch their weapons -- the battle still wages in their

minds.

TEAM LEADER:

(shouting to James)

It was a car bomb. Fucking nasty

one -- they had a decoy detonator

set up so that when I disarmed it

nothing happened -- then, I'm

walking back uprange to get some

more tools and boooom!!! If I

hadn't been wearing the suit, I'd

be dead right now.

ELDRIDGE:

Get a Medic to look at your cheek.

The wounded TEAM LEADER touches his face and blood smears on

his hand...he looks down...surreal to see your own blood.

The First Sergeant trots over.

TEAM LEADER:

(amazed at the sight of

HIS BLOOD) )

It's no big deal.

(now turning his attention

back to James) )

Be careful. They're starting to

hide the detonator really well.

The FIRST SERGEANT turns his attention to James:

FIRST SERGEANT:

Sorry to ruin your day off, but

your team is up.

James blinks back sand and dust blowing into his eyes.

So much for the nap.

INT HUMVEE CAMP VICTORY PARKING LOT

Lt. COL. CAMBRIDGE knocks on the window. Startling the men.

His face appears in the sand storm.

LT. COL. CAMBRIDGE

(SHOUTING)

Are you guys about to go out?

82

JAMES:

Yeah.

LT. COL. CAMBRIDGE

Mind if I ride along? I'm sick to

death of sitting behind a desk all

the time.

James shoots Eldridge a look. Eldridge shrugs.

JAMES:

Anytime, Sir. It's a privilege.

The LT. COL. CAMBRIDGE gets in. As they drive out.

JAMES:

Don't mean to insult your

intelligence, Sir. But if the shit

hits the fan, please don't fire out

of these windows. They're bullet

proof and the round will just

bounce around the cabin.

EXT. ABU GRAIB CENTER BOMBED OUT BUILDING DAY

A partially destroyed building fills the screen. A mess of

bricks and rebar. Wind swirls sand up into the air.

Nearby, an OLD IRAQI MAN with a DONKEY drawn cart is

unloading new bricks to repair the building.

Farther up the road, a good distance from the building, are

two parked Humvees. Nearby, James and his team are talking to

a small cluster of SOLDIERS.

SOLDIER 1

(pointing back at the

BUILDING)

Right up those stairs.

JAMES:

You been inside already?

SOLDIER 1

In there? F*ck no. We've had

reports of all kinds of shit coming

out of that house -- and--

James takes his eyes off the building and turns to the

Soldier.

83

JAMES:

AND WHAT--

SOLDIER 1

--bodies.

James turns to Cambridge.

JAMES:

Why don't you wait here? We'll

bring out anything of interest.

INT BOMBED OUT BUILDING LATE MORNING

James, Sanborn and Eldridge enter a landing. The floor is

very wet. They cross it, and come to a room that has been

severely damaged by a bomb, with rubble everywhere and

exposed electrical wires dangling from the ceiling, and

busted pipes gushing water.

A tea pot sits on a STOVE, steaming hot, and a plate on the

table has bread on it.

James bends the gushing pipe, stemming the flow of water to a

trickle. Now the spitting wire hanging above the water pipe

looks less ominous. But not by much.

CORRIDOR:

They continue down a narrow corridor, light diminishing. They

switch on the lights on their M4s. The corridor ends at a

door.

SANBORN:

This would be a great place to put

a pressure activator.

JAMES:

Yeah, with like twenty pounds of

high explosives on it so you get

anyone in the room when you open

the door.

ELDRIDGE:

Rope trick?

Eldridge uncoils rope from his pack and hands it to James,

who makes a lasso and tosses it over the doorknob.

84

EXT BOMBED OUT BUILDING

James yanks the rope -- we follow the rope inside through the

kitchen to the doorknob, watching it turn. No bomb.

They head back in.

INT DOOR/STAIRS BOMBED OUT BUILDING

Ascending a staircase. James unstraps a flash grenade from

his vest and heaves it onto the floor above. They stick

their fingers in their ears...

Blinding FLASH and DEAFENING sound. Then silence. No

movement.

JAMES:

Guess no one's home.

SOLDIER O.S.

(WALKIE-TALKIE)

Blaster One, what was that?

JAMES:

(INTO WALKIE)

Sorry, one of ours, just a flash

grenade.

They come to a landing that opens up to the second floor.

SECOND FLOOR:

A large cavernous space filled with what looks like Santa's

bomb making factory: A pile of motherboards. Batteries. Boom

boxes. Electronics in various states of disassembly. In

another corner, stacks of artillery shells. Blocks of C4

plastic explosives.

In the back half of the room, there is a work table, and on

the table is a DEAD BODY of a young man, wearing pants but no

shirt. A JACKET draped is over its torso and face. Even for

these hardened EOD experts, the sight is unnerving, and the

copper smell of spilt blood and death is staggering,

sickening.

James, Sanborn and Eldridge approach the body cautiously.

James pulls a retractable aluminum pole from his pack and

telescopes it to its maximum length, about 10 feet, and uses

the pole to lift the jacket. Gently. The FACE appears.

85

All that we can determine about this face is that it is

young. The distinguishing lines of the nose and cheeks are so

covered by bruises and blood and further obscured by the

shadows and dappled light, that it could be the face of

almost any young man.

The violence done to the face exerts an odd pull on James.

JAMES:

The kid at camp.

SANBORN:

What?

JAMES:

He sells DVDs.

SANBORN:

No, that's not him.

JAMES:

You see him every day. He sells

DVDs by the mess tent. His name is

Pele.

SANBORN:

Different kid.

ELDRIDGE:

This is sick.

The dead young man's chest has been cut open. An artillery

shell is shoved inside the cavity where the heart used to

beat. Wires protrude from the shell. It's meant to be a booby

trap, to be placed on a street and elicit as much damage as

possible.

SANBORN:

You seen a body bomb before?

James shakes his head no.

Sanborn moves closer to the body and inspects the wiring in

the chest.

JAMES:

Don't touch it. Let's blow it.

JAMES:

Positioning three blocks of C4 on the body, then plugs

blasting caps into the explosives. James nods to Sanborn and

Eldridge, and they leave him alone with the body.

86

James walks backwards out of the room, unspooling a roll of

detonation cord as he goes. But before he gets to the door...

SOLDIER O.S.

(OVER WALKIE)

Blaster, we've got a hold. I'm not

getting airspace clearance.

JAMES:

(INTO WALKIE)

Copy that, How long?

SOLDIER (O.S.)

(WALKIE-TALKIE)

Roger. Could be anything. At least

15 minutes is what they're saying.

JAMES:

(INTO WALKIE)

Can you -- you need to explain to

them that we don't have 15 minutes.

SOLDIER (O.S.)

(WALKIE-TALKIE)

Roger. I'll see if we can push this

ahead.

James squats down, rests his rifle, looks at the floor.

Moments pass and he feels a set of eyes on him.

He swivels his head to the left and makes eye contact with

the dead kid on the table. The face doesn't have any of the

markers of death; it looks alive.

James turns away, then is compelled to make eye contact

again. He looks at his watch. The seconds tick by all too

slowly. He grabs his walkie-talkie.

JAMES:

(INTO WALKIE)

Fifteen is not going to work. I

need to do this now.

SOLDIER (O.S.)

(WALKIE-TALKIE)

Roger, I understand. If it was me,

I would go for it, but I don't

think command is going to budge

under the circumstances.

87

JAMES:

(INTO WALKIE)

Tell command I'm in a fucking war

zone. And I'm going to blow now.

James gets up, clips his rifle, and takes the last few steps

out of the room.

SOLDIER (O.S.)

(WALKIE-TALKIE)

Blaster One, I don't know who you

know, but you got your permission.

Ready to det any time you say so.

At the door he stops to look at the dead boy on the table. He

looks and looks. Finally:

JAMES:

(INTO WALKIE)

Cancel that det.

CUT TO:

JAMES:

Reaching over the body of the boy. He pulls the artillery

shell out of the boy's abdomen with his bare hands. He wipes

his hands on his pants.

JAMES:

(INTO WALKIE)

This is Blaster One, I'm coming

down.

INT BOMBED OUT BUILDING

James carries the body down the staircase. The head and feet

bump the sides of the staircase as he descends.

EXT BOMBED OUT BUILDING MOMENTS LATER

The BODY lies on the street, James standing over it. A blue

and white pickup TRUCK emblazoned with the logo of the Iraqi

National Police pulls up to their position.

A pair of POLICEMEN get out and after a few words with James,

they load the body.

88

HUMVEE:

Sanborn and Eldridge sit across from each other, watching

James.

ELDRIDGE:

...So you really don't think it was

the DVD kid?

SANBORN:

No, I don't.

ELDRIDGE:

You're positive?

SANBORN:

Yeah. Could it be? One in a million

chance.

ELDRIDGE:

I don't know. Will seemed positive.

But that was weird.

SANBORN:

Very weird.

They look out the window and notice Lt. Colonel Cambridge

down the street surrounded by a crowd of IRAQI MEN.

CAMBRIDGE:

Cambridge is trying to talk to several of them at once.

CAMBRIDGE:

This is not a safe area for you.

Imshee!

They don't leave. Cambridge lifts his rifle, not quite

shouldering it. Then one MAN, mid thirties, in a suit, steps

forward.

IRAQI MAN:

(FLAWLESS ENGLISH)

Why do you talk to us like

children. We are not children.

CAMBRIDGE:

Gimme a break, will you?

IRAQI MAN:

Why should I?

89

Cambridge, suddenly not so sure of himself, looks back to the

Humvee and sees --

JAMES:

Watching the police truck drive away. He then moves for the

Humvee, motioning for Cambridge to load up.

INT HUMVEE:

Eldridge guzzles some water. Wipes sweat from his brow.

ELDRIDGE:

But then Will's pretty weird. He

keeps bomb parts under his bed.

Passing the water to Sanborn.

SANBORN:

I bet you he doesn't put this one

under his bed.

Sanborn laughs.

James cracks the door, jumps inside.

He sees Cambridge walk past the brick pile that the OLD IRAQI

MAN had created. The man is no longer there. Something

crosses his mind when--

--The brick pile explodes in a A SICKENING BLAST,

obliterating Cambridge and flipping the Humvee

--James, Sanborn and Eldridge SPIN upside down as the Humvee

is buffeted by the blast - landing upside down.

--Suddenly CAMBRIDGE'S helmeted HEAD crashes into the

windshield.

--Billowing smoke, dirt and debris smears the windshield

blotting out the sun.

--Inside, a flurry of HANDS yank on the heavy armored Humvee

door. It doesn't budge.

EXT HUMVEE:

A SOLDIER runs to the rescue. He reaches for the Humvee door,

the metal sears his hand, and he pulls back in pain.

90

The soldier uses his rifle butt to jam the door open - but

that doesn't work, because the butt doesn't catch the handle.

From inside, the POUNDING and YELLS grow louder.

The soldier drops the rifle and grabs the searing metal with

his hand, burning his flesh as he pries the handle.

The Humvee door finally gives. Three men tumble out onto

blackened sand.

CUT TO:

INT BOMBED OUT BUILDING LATER

James is standing in the doorway into the building, dividing

his attention between the outside and the interior -- where

Sanborn and Eldridge are slumped against a wall.

Sanborn stares at a blank wall. Eldridge is running his hand

over a cigarette lighter -- seeing how much of the flame he

can bear. He looks as if he's hoping the physical pain will

help put the psychic pain in perspective.

James, standing in the light of the doorway, is smoldering

with rage and ungovernable purpose. He's smoking.

We stay here for a moment to watch as each man makes his own

deal with himself.

Through the open doorway a Humvee comes into view.

James stomps out his cigarette.

JAMES:

Our ride is here.

Beat.

Sanborn and Eldridge remain in a trance.

JAMES:

We're movin'.

He walks out into the glare. Sanborn and Eldridge rise to

follow him.

EXT CAMP VICTORY DUSK

Funnel of wind erases a tank tread in the sand.

91

More sand drifts and piles like snow up against a small

mountain of sand bags.

Sand disappears the windshield of a parked Abrams as day

moves into night.

EXT CAMP VICTORY MESS TENT MORNING

Dust. Wind.

James is stalking towards an OLDER IRAQI MAN who is selling

DVDs at Pele's usual table.

JAMES:

Hey - you haven't seen that kid

around here by any chance - who

sells movies?

The man shakes his head.

DVD MAN:

Sorry. No English.

JAMES:

No English? Don't lie to me.

Where's that kid?

DVD MAN:

Sorry, my man. Movie? Five dollars.

James shakes his head and walks away, heading towards a clump

of SOLDIERS standing in the shade of a tree.

JAMES:

Are you guys responsible for this

area?

GUARD:

What's up?

JAMES:

That motherfucker over there

(pointing to the Man) could be an

insurgent, watching the camp and

giving intel to his buddies so they

know where to launch their mortars.

GUARD:

I think he's just a guy selling

DVDs.

92

JAMES:

He's a security risk. You should

get rid of him.

GUARD:

The merchants are cleared. I

couldn't do anything to him without

the say-so from my CO.

James realizes that he has no hope of prevailing. Agitated,

he turns away, and we stay with him as he trudges down one of

Victory's dusty roads.

EXT. CAMP VICTORY MESS TENT DUSK

It's the end of the day and the DVD seller packs up his wares

to go.

James, in sunglasses, sweatshirt covering his army fatigues,

follows him to his car. James draws near, and points his

pistol at the guy's crotch.

JAMES:

Does this change anything?

The DVD man looks stunned.

INT DVD MAN'S CAR CAMP VICTORY GATE DUSK

James leans across the DVD man and flashes his ID to one of

two GUARDs.

JAMES:

OGA.

The guard looks to his buddy who mouths "CIA"

GUARD:

Are you cleared to leave the camp

through this gate, Sir?

James nods.

GUARD:

I'm going to need to see your ID

again.

JAMES:

Don't f*ck with me man, I'm having

a bad day already.

93

The guard stares at James. James stares at the guard. The

guard shrugs, waves James through.

EXT BAGHDAD STREET NIGHT

The truck goes down a series of streets. It comes into a poor

neighborhood and stops at a house.

DVD MAN:

Pele.

JAMES:

Wait here.

James gets out.

EXT BAGHDAD STREET HOUSE

The dwelling is set back behind a low wall. Hard to see much

of it in the dim light.

James takes a step forward, toward the wall.

SUDDENLY--

the DVD truck peels out.

James looks at its retreating tail lights. A moment of

indecision as he considers his situation: alone in Baghdad.

Then he vaults the low wall, landing in

EXT BAGHDAD COURTYARD

A modest courtyard. Light comes from one window in the house,

the rest is dark. Crickets.

James walks around to the back of the house. There's a door.

He tries the knob. It opens.

INT IRAQI HOUSE HALLWAY

In a dark hallway. Murmuring of a television. James moves

towards the noise.

94

INT IRAQI HOUSE ANTECHAMBER

James comes to an antechamber. Behind it is a very low stone

archway. He goes through the archway, where -

INT IRAQI HOUSE LIVING ROOM

A MAN -- call him Kalim -- older, fifties, dressed in

traditional garb, sits at a table drinking tea, watching an

Egyptian game show on television.

James walks in, gun drawn.

The man is spooked. He spills his tea, looks wildly for an

exit.

James puts his fingers to his lips.

JAMES:

Do you speak English?

KALIM:

English, French, Arabic.

JAMES:

(QUIETLY)

I want the people responsible for

Pele.

KALIM:

For whom?

JAMES:

Pele. The body bomb.

KALIM:

Pele? I don't know. But please sit

down. I am professor Kalim, this is

my home. You are a guest. Sit.

JAMES:

Take me to the people responsible.

KALIM:

Of course, whatever you seek, I

will help you find. Please, please

sit, down. You are CIA, no? I am

very pleased to have CIA in my

home.

James raises his gun to aim at the man's face.

95

JAMES:

Maybe you don't understand?

The man is suddenly very afraid.

KALIM:

Please, be careful. Be slow. A gun

can go off.

As the back door opens

-- James spins to see

-- a WOMAN, older, matronly. She sees James, his gun. And she

starts shouting at James in Arabic, then English, "Get out,

get out."

James swings his gun to her.

SUDDENLY--

-- behind the woman comes Pele. He runs to his father's side.

-- James turns to the boy, to say something --

-- his mother is rushing James now, swinging a candlestick

-- he spins to the door, trying to get out of there --

-- SMASHING his head on the stone archway on his way out.

EXT. IRAQI HOUSE

-- the street.

James is shaken. He looks around, down the street. It's

murky. Dangerous. Even the shadows have shadows.

He runs...and runs...and we stay on his eyes. Blood runs from

the wound on his head.

SOUND of far off EXPLOSION. The sky turns orange briefly,

then fades into blackness.

EXT CAMP VICTORY GATE NIGHT

A blast of bright white light floods James. He's stunned -

and raises his ID in his open palm over his head. A scrap of

blood stained fabric is wrapped around his head wound.

96

Multiple rifles suddenly trained on his upturned face. VOICES

SLAP CONCRETE:

GUARDS:

On your knees, on your knees!!

A big offish GUARD walks up and slams a rifle butt into the

side of James' head.

He falls to the ground.

GUARD:

What're you doing?

JAMES:

(GASPING)

Ficke, ficke.

The guard sees the military ID splayed on the ground.

GUARD:

Yeah?

James nods.

JAMES:

Whorehouse two clicks from here.

GUARD:

If I let you in, will you tell me

where it is exactly?

CUT TO:

EXT CAMP VICTORY NIGHT

James walking along a dark camp road. He walks up to the head

shed porch, and goes inside. His walkie, sitting on a desk,

comes to life.

SANBORN:

(OVER WALKIE)

I repeat, do you copy? Do you copy?

JAMES:

(INTO WALKIE)

Yeah, I'm right here. What's up?

SANBORN:

(OVER WALKIE)

Oh nothing.

(MORE)

97

SANBORN (CONT'D)

(sarcastically) Just wondering if

you might want to join us in the

Humvee for a little outing the Army

wants us to go on.

JAMES:

(INTO WALKIE)

Copy that. What's you're twenty.

SANBORN:

(OVER WALKIE)

We're at the south gate, James.

We've been waiting for you for half

an hour. Where have you been? Over.

INT HUMVEE MINUTES LATER

James jumps in. Sanborn and Eldridge shoot him impatient

looks.

Sanborn hits the gas.

SANBORN:

A tanker blew up near the Green

Zone about an hour ago. We're doing

a post-blast on it. To figure out

how the suicide bomber pulled it

off. So where did you say you were

again?

JAMES:

I didn't. Sergeant. Let's go.

ELDRIDGE:

What happened to your head.

JAMES:

Watch the road, Owen.

Sanborn looks at him, shakes his head. James stares out the

window.

CUT TO:

EXT BAGHDAD STREET LATE NIGHT

A pair of Humvee headlights, glowing orange in smoke filled

air, come rapidly toward us. They stop, the Humvee groans on

idle.

James' team gets out.

98

They walk down the street, guns low, combat flashlights on.

JAMES:

Sanborn, get the big spotlights.

Sanborn doubles back to the truck, roots around in the back,

comes running back with two giant flash-lights. James hits

the switch. Sanborn hits the switch.

A pool of intensely bright light opens in front of them,

revealing a rubble strewn street. Concrete. Bits of glass.

Metal. Everything that goes into a city -- pulverized.

We hear CRUNCHING sounds as the men walk down the street and

their feet fall on the blast remnants. The crunching gets

louder as they walk towards a GLOWING RED INFERNO at the end

of the block.

A Soldier's head, then his shoulders visible in the distance.

SANBORN:

Friendlies, coming `in.

SOLDIER:

You guys the Medics?

JAMES:

No, we're EOD.

They walk past, deeper into the gloom.

Two soldiers run past them, carrying a stretcher.

SANBORN:

Hey.

They stop to see what he's looking at. Twisted metal.

SANBORN:

That's an engine block. A big one,

too. From a truck probably.

JAMES:

Oil tanker?

SANBORN:

It's what I'm thinking.

The men keep walking, and now the SOUNDS from the Inferno are

louder.

Another man rushes towards them, his face shrouded in

blackness.

99

Sanborn points his rifle at the man's head. Hits him with the

Hi-Beam of his light. The man is wearing a black wool ski

mask.

SANBORN:

Stop! Wagef! Wagef!

SKI MASKED MAN:

No. I am working here.

Sanborn looks at him. Doesn't reply.

James puts his gun up on the guy. Now Eldridge does too. This

guy is about to be toast.

When...

A face appears next to him.

FACE:

He's with me.

Guns cover the face...

Then they see that above the face is a helmet...

And on the top of the helmet is a COLONEL'S INSIGNIA.

COLONEL REED:

Okay fellas?

JAMES:

Sorry, Sir. I didn't recognize you.

Guns are lowered, fast.

Now that the Colonel is fully visible in the light we can see

that he's shaken by the scene of destruction around him.

COLONEL REED:

We haven't found a body so it could

be a suicide bomber or some clever

bastard that caused all this -- and

slipped away to sip tea with his

mommie -- we just don't know.

As the Colonel struggles to define the horror he's just seen,

James jumps in to save him:

JAMES:

We'll take a close look, Sir.

100

COLONEL REED:

This kind of situation we may never

know what happened. This is a mass

casualty situation - terrible

destruction.

JAMES:

Roger that, Sir. We'll do our best.

A stretcher comes by.

COLONEL REED:

They're cowards, you know. I wish

they would stand up and fight us,

man to man, instead of playing hide

and seek with me.

JAMES:

Roger, Sir. We better get moving.

COLONEL REED:

Right, go ahead Sergeant.

The Colonel nods and moves off. His translator stands for a

moment. Takes off his ski mask to reveal an intelligent face

with deep set eyes and a dirty smear of five o'clock shadow.

SKI MASKED MAN:

I'm Ahmed. My name is Ahmed. Thank

you for not shooting me.

The men move on...

Advancing toward the plume of smoke and embers rising into

the sky...smell of burning rubber and charred metal...

...until they see it --

--the twisted steel carcasses of two small vehicles and a

TANKER.

The image is biblical - the wounded and dead piled together

in one Hieronymus Bosch maze of tangled limbs, body parts...

Palm trees burning at the top...like Olympic torches.

SOLDIERS secure the area. GRIEVING FAMILIES swarm around the

dead and dying --

James, Sanborn and Eldridge approach. Wind fans nearby

flames into a fountain of embers that float up into the black

desert night.

101

James moves through charred metal, stumbling over something

sharp.

-- then something hits his leg... What? Flashlight, gun --

DOWN! -- it's a CHICKEN, charred -- feathers burned off but

still walking around - disoriented, dying...

James stumbles sideways to avoid the charred hens...

SOUNDS distant and near of wailing, MEDICS racing onto the

SCENE --

A WOMAN wearing Bhurka appears out of the distant flames and

haze -- looking disoriented, in apparent state of shock --

SANBORN:

A BODY lies trapped beneath a pile of rubble. Sanborn reaches

down to remove one of the chunks of stone. It slides away,

but another falls in its place.

ELDRIDGE:

Shines his light on a concrete wall, stained with what looks

like threads of black lace. He draws closer. What is it?

Sanborn leans in.

SANBORN:

It's hair.

JAMES:

Approaches the woman in the Bhurka --

JAMES:

Hey! Hey -- you alright? -- Keef

Halek?

She turns to face him...madness in her eyes.

James' flashlight illuminates a massive crater, black...and

empty.

Eldridge swirls around.

ELDRIDGE:

(CALLING)

James?!

102

JAMES:

Hey, I'm right here.

James is shining his light into a orange tree. There's a

PERFECTLY formed ORANGE, unharmed, nestled among the burnt

leaves.

JAMES:

This is where the blast stopped.

(beat) Look over there.

James is pointing to a building in the distance. It's past a

row of houses and a field.

Sanborn comes into view. James nods to him and points again.

JAMES:

Perfect vantage point for a remote

det -- and I bet he's out there

right now watching us make fools of

ourselves. We could get him.

ELDRIDGE:

You want to go out there?

James keeps looking into the distance.

JAMES:

Yeah, let's go hunting.

ELDRIDGE:

I could stand to get in some

trouble.

Sanborn stares at James and the bandage on his head.

SANBORN:

No.

JAMES:

No?

SANBORN:

Man, this is bullshit. You got --

what?-- three infantry platoons

here. That's their job.

JAMES:

(FIERCELY)

You don't say No to me, Sergeant. I

say No to you -- and I'm not going

to let this bomber slink off while

the grunts get their act together.

(MORE)

103

JAMES (CONT'D)

(on the move)

Let's go. Now.

James glowers at Sanborn and Eldridge and stomps off, down

the alley toward an empty field.

Eldridge shoots Sanborn a sympathetic glance, and follows

James. Sanborn watches them recede into the darkness.

Sanborn runs after them.

FIELD:

They move three abreast across a dark field, guns raised

commando-style. Poised to strike.

They walk in silence, alert to every decibel.

Gravel underfoot. Enveloping night.

They come to a high wall, behind which the ground raises to a

gentle hill that looks out onto the tanker.

WALL:

Sanborn gives James a leg up over the wall. James helps

Sanborn over.

They lean over to pull Eldridge up but with the forty pounds

of gear he's got on he's too heavy.

JAMES:

You got to work on your pull ups.

James and Sanborn drop over the other side, and we follow

them as they crouch low and approach a building construction

site.

WALL:

Eldridge pushes his back against the wall and scans the area.

It dawns on him that he's alone.

CONSTRUCTION SITE

Sanborn and James come to the edge of the site and find what

may or may not be the remains of the trigger man's camp.

There's a florescent lantern still glowing and cigarette

butts in a pile.

104

JAMES:

That little bastard. Let's torch

this spot so he can't use it again.

James pats his pockets down, looking for something.

JAMES:

Do you have an incendiary?

SANBORN:

No.

Three quick SHOTS ring out -- they sound very close.

Sanborn and James instinctively fall to one knee. They scan

the area -- nothing.

As one man, they rise and start running back to the wall.

JAMES:

Eldridge!!!

There's no answer.

WALL:

SANBORN:

He's gone.

They both drop to the ground on the other side.

They scan the ground with their flashlights.

The BODY of an Iraqi insurgent is lying close to where

Eldridge had been standing. He's pulped from bullet wounds,

and gasping for breath.

JAMES:

This guy comes out of the dark -

Eldridge shoots.

He scavenges the ground looking for brass casings.

Nothing.

SANBORN:

Three shots, close range. He takes

a step forward to see what he's

hit.

105

JAMES:

Another guy comes from behind him --

gets the drop on him. You're a

hostage.

They look up and down the wall.

SANBORN:

That way is towards the tanker,

troops.

DARK STREET:

They run about fifty yards when Sanborn TRIPS, stumbles,

James catches him as he falls, and they keep going.

In the distance, they see Eldridge's back and the backs of

two other MEN, just as they are turning a corner.

They SPRINT to the corner, and pause to catch their breath as

James hands Sanborn his flashlight.

JAMES:

Hit `em with both lights on three.

SANBORN:

F*ck. Okay.

JAMES:

One. Two.

Sanborn shoulders his rifle and readies both spotlights.

JAMES:

Three.

They spin around the corner - flash of light revealing

NOTHING but an empty street.

They sprint to the next block, where Eldridge is being walked

quickly at gun point.

The men's rifles are at his head.

JAMES:

Again. One two three. Do it. Do it.

Sanborn shines the lights on the backs of both men.

James fires. Three shots at the guy on the left of Eldridge.

Three shots at the guy on the right.

106

Sanborn kills the flashlights.

James goes running towards the group, Sanborn running next to

him. Both have their guns up but lights off.

They get to the group and all three men are on the ground.

Both Iraqis are dead -- shot clean in the back.

Eldridge is bleeding profusely from his leg, but he's alive.

James and Sanborn pick Eldridge up and drudge back with him.

ELDRIDGE:

Am I dead?

JAMES:

No. You're fine.

ELDRIDGE:

Am I dead? Am I dead? Am I dead?

Off James' face --

INT CAMP VICTORY SHOWER STALLS LATER THAT NIGHT

James walks in. The room is empty. Florescent lights hum.

James is still wearing his fatigues. His whole midsection is

red with Eldridge's blood.

James heads to the shower and steps inside, fully clothed. He

turns on the water.

Aims the shower head to his stomach. Sinks down so it can hit

the bloody stains.

As the uniform grows wet, then gets soaked, the pinkish water

swirls down the drain --

EXT CAMP VICTORY FIRST SERGEANT'S TRAILER

James and Sanborn emerge into the wind.

SANBORN:

So how you doing with this?

JAMES:

Fine. I'm fine.

SANBORN:

Fine? You know I lied to our

sergeant.

(MORE)

107

SANBORN (CONT'D)

So Eldridge wouldn't have to go

around saying he was shot by his

own team leader.

JAMES:

Yeah. Thanks. I'm just tired.

SANBORN:

You want some sleeping pills?

JAMES:

Nah, I'm good.

EXT CAMP VICTORY HEAD SHED MORNING

James walks purposely out of the head shed toward a waiting

Humvee. He passes Pele who looks up and shouts:

PELE:

Hey, Boomala, Boomala!

James keeps walking. Eyes straight ahead.

PELE:

HEY--

Running up to James, holding DVD's, walks next to him.

PELE:

(SMILING)

Look at these, best quality. No

special effects!

James just keeps walking. He gets in the car, Sanborn in the

driver's seat.

Pele watches him go. Hurt.

EXT CAMP VICTORY TARMAC MORNING

Eldridge is on a stretcher, being loaded into a military

transport helicopter. Sanborn and James are there to say good-

bye.

As Eldridge is being loaded in, James touches his shoulder.

JAMES:

You'll probably be walking in a few

months.

108

ELDRIDGE:

My tibia is shattered in nine

places I don't think I'm going to

be walking soon. The doc said six

months if I'm lucky.

JAMES:

Wow. Six ain't bad.

ELDRIDGE:

Not bad? It fucking sucks man.

Eldridge is jostled as he gets put down. And he cries out in

pain.

ELDRIDGE:

(ANGRILY)

You see that motherfucker. That's

what happens when you shoot

somebody.

JAMES:

I'm sorry.

ELDRIDGE:

You're sorry? F*ck you, Will.

(meaning it) Really f*ck you.

Thanks for saving my life and all

but we didn't have to go hunting

for the trigger man. You invented

it, to get your adrenaline fix. You

war mongering f*ck.

James is stunned.

SANBORN:

(grabbing Eldridge's hand)

Take care of yourself, Owen.

A TRANSPORT SOLDIER looks at Sanborn and gives a hand signal

to wrap it up. Time to go. The door is closed on Eldridge.

James and Sanborn watch as the helicopter takes off. The

rotor wash chops the air.

JAMES:

Wind and sand buffet his face. He turns to say something to

Sanborn.

109

But he's already walking away.

CUT TO:

EXT BAGHDAD STREET LATE AFTERNOON

A new sand storm has begun.

And so it's in a cloud of dusty orange air that we find

James, encased in his bomb suit, taking the first steps of

his trek towards...

DOWNRANGE:

A WASHING MACHINE. Sitting in the middle of the street.

TITLE OVER:

DAYS LEFT IN BRAVO COMPANY'S ROTATION: 5

UPRANGE:

Sanborn casts a nervous look around the poverty-stricken

neighborhood. It has taken on a forboding vibe in the

unrelenting storm.

DOWNRANGE:

James approaches the washing machine.

JAMES:

(headset, impish grin)

I hear ticking.

He uses a long pole to open the door of the washing machine.

It's empty inside.

Getting closer, he sees the washing machine timer is at 30

minutes. James rests his head on the timer, listening.

He turns his attention to the back of the washing machine,

unscrewing the rear plate.

Inside, just a tangle of wires. He traces the wires with his

hand. Shrugs.

Then he turns back to the front of the machine. He twists the

timer with his hand, slowly, all the way back to zero.

110

It DINGS -- harmlessly.

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

Hey, Sanborn.

SANBORN:

(OVER WALKIE)

Copy. What's up?

JAMES:

(OVER WALKIE)

Send your skivvies down here on the

bot, I'll run a quick bleach cycle.

Somebody threw out a perfectly good

washing machine.

UPRANGE:

SANBORN:

(RELIEVED)

Copy that.

--When, suddenly, the SOUND of SOLDIERS SHOUTING in the

distance catches Sanborn's ear.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

Hustle back, something's going on.

MOMENTS LATER:

James comes back sweating profusely from his run. Sanborn

helps take his helmet off.

As two SOLDIERS come running over. More SHOUTING in the

distance, louder now. "Hands on your head." "Don't move

asshole." "Stop. Stop."

In addition, the sound of SHOUTING IN ARABIC. A loud jumble.

Over that, SOLDIERS YELLING: "Get back." "Form a perimeter."

A NERVOUS SOLDIER trots up to James and Sanborn.

JAMES:

What's going on?

NERVOUS SOLDIER:

We've got a situation with a

suicide bomber.

111

JAMES:

We'll follow you.

They follow the soldier down the road. The soldier is

sweating, terrified.

EXT BAGHDAD ROAD

The road has been cordoned off by SOLDIERS on all sides.

In the middle of the road an IRAQI MAN IN A NEW BLACK SUIT is

standing with his hands above his head. He's distraught.

Hair mussed.

A SERGEANT seems to have taken command of the situation, and

now he alone is shouting to the man. "Stay still. Don't Move.

If you keep walking we will shoot you."

A TRANSLATOR in a black ski mask is helping him get the

message across.

The translator edges forward to talk to the BLACK SUIT man.

SERGEANT:

Keep that translator back.

One of the soldiers grabs the translator.

TRANSLATOR:

(to the soldier)

But the bomb was forced on him.

Against his will. He is not a bad

man!

James and Sanborn and the NERVOUS SOLDIER come onto the

scene.

The Sergeant turns to James and explains.

SERGEANT:

He came walking up to our

checkpoint, said he had a bomb

strapped to him. He was sorry. He

didn't want it to blow up. He

begged us to take it off him.

TRANSLATOR:

(TO JAMES)

Help this man. He's not a bad man.

112

SANBORN:

Not a bad man? You've got to be

kidding me.

(TO JAMES)

This is a trap. He wants to draw

people close to him.

JAMES:

(TO TRANSLATOR)

Tell him to open his jacket. I need

to see the bomb.

The translator SHOUTS in Arabic and the MAN unbuttons his

jacket, revealing several sticks of dynamite strapped to his

chest.

JAMES:

(to the soldier)

With that much bang, I'd need a

hundred meter perimeter.

(TO TRANSLATOR)

Tell him to get on his knees.

The translator SHOUTS. BLACK SUIT complies.

SERGEANT:

Can we just shoot him?

As James considers that option when --

TRANSLATOR:

NO. He's not a bad man. He has a

family. The bomb was forced on him.

He is asking for help. Only help.

JAMES:

(TO TRANSLATOR)

I want you one hundred meters away,

like everybody else.

TRANSLATOR:

But how will I hear?

JAMES:

You don't need to. I'm going down

there.

Meanwhile, the BLACK SUIT man is SHOUTING something in

Arabic.

JAMES:

(TO TRANSLATOR)

What the f*ck is he shouting now?

113

TRANSLATOR:

He's asking you to hurry. He thinks

the bomb has a timer on it.

James turns to Sanborn

JAMES:

Where's that helmet?

Sanborn pulls James aside.

SANBORN:

We've had our differences.

Eldridge? That's water under the

bridge. It happened. But this --

this is suicide.

James smiles at Sanborn. He just doesn't get it.

JAMES:

That's why it's called a suicide

bomb.

SANBORN:

It's suicide for you, Will.

JAMES:

Nah. That guy wants to catch an

American? I'll give him an

American.

Sanborn reluctantly hands him his helmet, and seals him in.

James grabs a nearby soldier's walkie then starts the walk

downrange.

Soldiers moving back to their perimeter.

PEDESTRIANS gathering for a look. Soldiers scattering them

quickly.

BLACK SUIT:

Smiles thinly as James nears.

James nods at him. The man nods, frightened.

BLACK SUIT:

Inshalla. Inshalla.

JAMES:

Uh-huh.

114

James kneels down to get a closer look at the bomb strapped

to the man's belly.

He takes out his 9mm and puts it on the guy's forehead. Cocks

the trigger.

JAMES:

If I shoot you now, I can disarm

this bomb much more easily. Do you

understand?

BLACK SUIT stares at him blankly.

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

Sanborn, give your walkie to the

translator.

TRANSLATOR:

(OVER WALKIE)

Yes?

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

What the hell is this guy saying?

BLACK SUIT jabbers on in Arabic.

UPRANGE:

The translator keys his walkie.

TRANSLATOR:

(INTO WALKIE)

He says, I don't wish to die. I

have a family. Please take this off

me.

JAMES:

Holds his walkie up for the man to hear the translator.

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

Hands have to stay behind his head

or I will be very happy to shoot

him.

Translator conveys this to BLACK SUIT in Arabic.

115

BLACK SUIT starts yelling in Arabic. Forehead wet with

sweat.

TRANSLATOR:

(OVER WALKIE)

He says, please hurry he has a

family.

JAMES:

(TO TRANSLATOR)

That's not what I asked you. Now

I'm going to shoot if he doesn't

understand that he can't move his

hands.

James holds the walkie up to the man's ear. Translator has

another exchange.

BLACK SUIT:

Yes. Yes. Yes!

Now James sinks to his knees and examines the bomb, all the

while keeping his pistol on the man's head.

There is a FOREST OF WIRES. He pushes them aside, revealing a

cheap Casio digital WATCH, which is counting down from five

minutes.

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

Sanborn, I need to get this rig

off. There's too many wires here to

figure it out.

SANBORN:

(OVER HEADSET)

Copy that, what do you need?

James feels around the bomb. It's strapped to the BLACK SUIT

man with heavy gauge metal.

The man is shivering with fear.

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

Bolt cutters.

SANBORN:

(OVER WALKIE)

Copy that. I'll get `em.

116

JAMES:

(HEADSET)

You've got two minutes to get them

and get down here.

UPRANGE:

Sanborn is already running towards the truck when he hears

James.

SANBORN:

(INTO WALKIE)

F*ck. Copy that.

DOWNRANGE:

James presses his pistol harder into the man's forehead.

JAMES:

(TO MAN)

Don't move.

UPRANGE:

Sanborn runs to the truck. He roots around looking for the

bolt cutter. At last he finds it, and comes charging out with

it.

DOWNRANGE:

The Casio watch is at 4:30.

SANBORN:

Running hard with the bolt cutters.

--Past a crew of soldiers.

--Down the road, sprinting now. Rifle flapping.

DOWNRANGE:

Sanborn skids to a halt, hands James the cutters.

James hands his gun to Sanborn, who holds it on the man's

forehead.

117

James sets to work, applying the cutters to the thick metal

holding the bomb to his chest.

The man is crying now.

Sanborn sees the Casio. It reads 4:00

SANBORN:

Holy shit. You weren't kidding.

JAMES:

Nope.

James works the cutter blade.

CU:
Bolt Cutter. It SCRAPS futilely against the metal.

JAMES:

(SOTTO)

What is this made out of?

BLACK SUIT:

Please. Please.

SANBORN:

Case hardened steel.

James doubles his effort.

CU:
Bolt Cutter. The blade bites the steel, but it doesn't

give.

James squeezes with all his might.

JAMES:

Motherfucker. What's our time?

Sanborn looks at the Casio.

SANBORN:

Three minutes.

JAMES:

Shit. Ok. Let me think.

He puts the bolt cutter down on the ground.

JAMES:

We'd need an arc welder to get this

off properly.

118

SANBORN:

I don't think we have one of those

in the truck.

CU:
Casio Watch 2:30.

JAMES:

Let's try the back of it.

Sanborn nods. Keeps the gun on the man's head. His hand is

starting to shake.

James goes behind the man, and rips open the back of his

shirt, revealing the back of the bomb. Here too it is a

welded band, but the metal looks thinner. Weaker.

James works it with the cutter.

CU:
Casio Watch 1:30.

SANBORN:

We have to bail.

JAMES:

Go. I got the suit.

Sanborn looks at the guy.

SANBORN:

What do you want me to do with the

pistol?

JAMES:

Take it with you, that's a good

pistol.

SANBORN:

When do you leave?

JAMES:

In forty five seconds.

Sanborn turns, and begins running uprange.

SANBORN:

(shouting to soldiers)

Get back! Get back!

The soldiers turn and run.

James tries and tries to clip the metal. It's a no go. He

comes around to face the man.

119

JAMES:

I'm sorry.

BLACK SUIT:

Please, please.

JAMES:

The metal is too thick.

BLACK SUIT:

Help me. Help me!

James drops the bolt cutter, kneels down in front of the man,

and shakes his head. That's it.

The man understands James' gesture. He reaches forward,

grabbing James' suit.

BLACK SUIT:

No! No!

James clubs his hand away.

JAMES:

Sorry.

CU:
Casio Watch: 45 seconds.

James gets up and starts running-- lumbers, really, in the

suit -- as fast as he can towards a retreating Sanborn.

Sanborn hears James' boots thumping towards him and cranes

his neck to see

--James running, arms akimbo

--The Black Suit man stands up

BOOM!!

-- He explodes and the blast spits out fire and dust.

--James is nailed with shrapnel and debris, knocked over.

--Sanborn is blown to the ground.

JAMES POV:

--through the helmet a hailstorm of particulate matter flying

at 22,000 feet per second straight at us --

120

--chunks of molten metal hitting his stomach, stopped by the

SUIT:

--bits of shrapnel and body parts thump into him

--dust and blood splatters the outside of his helmet

JAMES:

--CU his face:
White. No movement. Total silence.

--blood seeps from his nose

--then, as if overcoming great resistance, his heart turns

over -- Daaaa--duuuunk

--sharp, loud inhale of breath. Like birth. The heart kicks

in again. Da-dunk. Da-dunk.

James struggles to stand.

He looks uprange.

Sanborn is staggering towards the soldiers.

CUT TO:

EXT HUMVEE DUSK

The Humvee snakes along the desert floor.

Traffic thickening.

Shadows against a dimming sky.

INT HUMVEE:

Sanborn is in the passenger seat, shivering, and covered in

grime and dust. James, in the driver's seat.

James looks over at Sanborn.

JAMES:

You alright?

SANBORN:

No. I hate this place

Sanborn stares out the window at the unforgiving landscape.

121

James passes Sanborn some Gatorade.

JAMES:

Have a hit.

Sanborn drinks, grateful, and puts the Gatorade down. Then he

looks at James.

SANBORN:

I'm not ready to die, man.

JAMES:

Bro, you're not going to die out

here.

Sanborn shakes his head. Unconsciously, his fingers touch his

neck, finding the exposed area above the collar of his body

armor.

SANBORN:

Another inch or two difference.

Shrapnel goes zing (still touching

his neck). Severs my throat. I

bleed out in the sand.

(BEAT)

F*ck. If I die now, nobody will

even really care. My folks, sure.

But that don't count. Who else?

(BEAT)

I don't even have a son.

JAMES:

You got time.

SANBORN:

No... I'm done. I want a son, Will.

I want a son.

They drive on in silence. Then Sanborn looks at James, as if

seeing him for the first time.

SANBORN:

Why do you do it? Take the risks?

JAMES:

Hell, I don't know.

SANBORN:

But you know what I'm talking

about, right? Every time we go out,

you throw the dice. Live or die,

you just throw `em down. You

recognize that, right?

122

Beat.

JAMES:

Yeah. (softly) I do. But I don't

know why. Do you know why I am the

way I am?

SANBORN:

No, Will, I don't.

Silence. Then after a while:

JAMES:

This traffic is pissing me off.

SANBORN:

Where are we, anyway?

JAMES:

I know where I am but I'm lost.

They drive on. Dust off the desert floor blows into the

WINDSHIELD --

TIME CUT TO:

INT KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE SUPERMARKET DAY

A big one. Vast, hyper-hygenic, the aisles stretching on,

loaded with glistening produce. Muzac. A cathedral to

consumerism.

We find James walking through the supermarket, looking like a

new man. His hair has grown, softening his features. He's

scrubbed clean, dust free, and dressed in Bermuda shorts and

a clashing Polo shirt. The All American Dad. A suburban

softie. Pushing a shopping cart.

Welcome home, son, for you are no longer in Baghdad. You're

in the "big PX" -- America.

A beautiful young WOMAN approaches him from the other end of

the aisle. She too, is pushing a shopping cart, and in it is

a small BOY. She smiles at James, and says:

YOUNG WOMAN:

Honey, you grab the barbecue sauce

and I'll meet you in aisle four.

And CONNIE JAMES smiles again, and pats her husband on the

shoulder.

123

Now James knows he's really home.

JAMES:

Pushes the cart over to the sauce section. Down the squeaky-

clean aisle.

His progress is impeded by an OBESE WOMAN who is mulling over

cat litter. Her overflowing cart blocks the aisle.

James stops. Hands tight on the shopping cart. He looks at

her hard. She ignores him. Where's the 9mm when you need it?

James clears his throat. She sees him. Moves her cart.

He continues on, walking through the cavernous space.

At last, he's at the sauce section. He is rattled by the

abundance after the bleakness of Iraq, and the array of

choices is dizzying.

--He reaches for a bottle, then pulls back, unsure.

--Giving up, he picks a bottle at random and tosses it into

the cart.

INT KNOXVILLE JAMES HOUSE KITCHEN MORNING SOME DAYS LATER

James is washing the vegetables they've just bought at the

grocery store. Mushrooms bob in a pool of water at the bottom

of the sink. James tries to clean them individually, but

can't. They crumble in his hands.

CONNIE:

Let's put the chicken on first and

the vegetables on last, so they

don't burn?

James struggles with the mushrooms. Makes no reply.

CONNIE CONT'D

Will?

JAMES:

Yeah, okay. (beat) You know,

they're really short on bomb techs

over there.

Connie knows where this is going, but she fights the

inevitable.

124

CONNIE:

Well, good thing the army is

hiring, and they've got so many

great guys over there.

JAMES:

Uh-huh.

James wipes his hands on the dish towel and walks out.

Looking at his retreating back, she accidentally knocks a

glass off the counter, and it shatters.

EXT JAMES HOUSE LATER THAT DAY

A few NEIGHBORS have gathered for a barbecue in James'

backyard. It's a simple, low-key affair. James is tending

meat on a grill.

INT JAMES HOUSE CONTINUOUS

The doorbell rings. Connie rushes to open it. It's Sanborn.

She hugs him.

CONNIE:

Thanks for coming. Maybe he'll

listen to you.

SANBORN:

I know how to talk to him.

EXT JAMES HOUSE A LITTLE LATER

Behind the barbecue, Sanborn finds a moment to confront James

privately.

SANBORN:

What the f*ck is the matter with

you? You got a family, kid, nice

looking burgers.

James studies the grilling meat.

JAMES:

I know, it's crazy. So how's life

at home treating you?

Sanborn holds up his hand. He's wearing a wedding ring.

125

SANBORN:

I made the plunge. (big smile) But

I thought we were talking about

you.

JAMES:

We just did, buddy.

INT JAMES' SON'S BEDROOM LATER THAT NIGHT

The boy is in a cradle, face up and wide awake. James comes

in to tuck him in.

James pulls a book of fairy tales off the shelf, flips

through it. Can't read that fluff.

He pulls up a chair. Begins to play with a Jack-In-the-Box.

He winds it up.

He opens it for his son. The Jack POPs out.

His son squeals with delight, then his eyes go wide with

fear. He's not sure what to make of the bobbing clown.

JAMES:

(trying to settle him

DOWN)

Well, let's see. I bet you don't

know the story of these magic

boxes.

James looks at the box. He stuffs the Jack back in and closes

it.

The boy looks up at him with a son's pure admiration. Rapt.

JAMES:

Once upon a time, in a distant

kingdom, there were many magic

BOXES:

He stops to think.

JAMES:

Every person had a magic box. But

you couldn't tell they were magic

boxes on the outside. Like this

one.

He brings the box close to the child's eyes. The boy is

dazzled by the colors. He reaches out to touch it.

126

JAMES:

It just looks like a plain old box.

Then a new king came along and told

all the people, you have to give me

all your magic boxes. But the

people, instead of giving away

their boxes decided to hide them.

And they put their boxes in secret

places all over the kingdom. They

put them in the roads. They put

them in cars. They put them in

buildings. And the King said, (does

a King's gravelly baritone) "Well,

how am I going to get my magic

boxes now?" And one of the King's

men said, "We have a special Knight

with special armor, and he can find

the boxes. And only he.

He tries to collect his thoughts.

JAMES:

And this Knight gathered up all the

boxes, far and wide. And sometimes -

- when he wasn't sure if it was a

magic box -- he opened them.

James slowly opens the box, holding the clown in with his

hand so it doesn't pop. Releasing it slowly.

The boy giggles and reaches up.

JAMES:

And the King said to the Knight,

you have done a wonderful job. I

will grant you one wish. What do

you wish?

James thinks, struggles to find an ending.

JAMES:

But the Knight didn't know what to

say.

James realizes he can't finish the story.

JAMES:

You see, the thing is, son. One day

you'll understand that when you

start out like you are now, you

love everything. You love your

Mommy and your Daddy. You love your

bobba. You love your blanket.

(MORE)

127

JAMES (CONT'D)

You even love your little crib, and

these dumb toys. But as you get

older some of the things you love

don't seem special anymore. That

bobba is one day just going to look

like an ordinary plastic bottle to

you. And the older you get, the

more this happens and the fewer

things you love. And by the time

you get to be my age, sometimes you

only love one -- or two -- things.

James pauses.

JAMES:

With me, I think's it's one.

EXT KNOXVILLE BUS STOP DAWN

James waits for the bus. Wearing his camo. He's alone. His

hair is shaved again.

The far off city BUS grinds its gears. James turns toward

the sound when a Chevy PICKUP pulls ahead of the bus, and

zooms to a stop in front of him.

INT PICKUP:

Sanborn opens the passenger window.

EXT BUS STOP:

JAMES:

You lost again, Sergeant?

SANBORN:

Get in, before I change my mind.

They drive away.

INT PICKUP:

SANBORN:

(SMILING)

Couldn't risk letting you on a

public bus. Probably shoot the damn

driver if it wasn't moving fast

enough.

128

INT AIRPLANE:

A stewardess passing out glasses of water and packages of

peanuts approaches James' aisle.

STEWARDESS:

Here you are, Sir (noticing James'

uniform) Thank you for your

service.

JAMES:

Your welcome, m'am.

The stewardess smiles lovingly, and waits for an opening to

continue the conversation. When none comes, she moves on.

James turns to the window. In his hand he holds a photo of

his son.

Tears well up.

The plane's ENGINE WHINE swells and merges with--

CUT TO:

EXT BAGHDAD DAY

--SONIC OVERLOAD:

Angry drivers SHOUT in Arabic - car HORNS blare - loudspeaker

CALL to prayer - Humvee RUMBLE - incoming CHOPPER WASH - RAT-

TAT-TAT of distant gunfire --

As James' feet hit the tarmac.

A SOLDIER is waiting for him, with a smile on his face.

SOLDIER:

Welcome to Delta-Company.

A Middle-Eastern sun bathes James' upturned face lengthening

into a smile.

His pace slows...the tarmac transitions to dirt as little

puffs of dust lift off his continuous passage. He is now in

the bomb suit and we are --

EXT. BAGHDAD OUTSKIRTS DAY

-- in the desert.

129

The small CLUSTER of SOLDIERS at the side of the road parts

to make way for James.

Hands pat his back as he begins the long walk down the street

-- toward the bomb.

All SOUND telescopes down to just James' BREATHING...

--the view through James' eyes: the outside world of soldiers

and Baghdad seems to pulsate with excitement --

-- James' face. As the SOUNDS of his breathing grow louder

-- The noon day sun beats brilliantly onto a car's

windshield, the glass shimmering.

TITLE OVER:

DAYS LEFT IN DELTA COMPANY'S ROTATION: 365

-- James moves into the path of that reflected sunlight.

-- And vanishes into the glare.

END:

Rate this script:(3.00 / 1 vote)

Mark Boal

Mark Boal (born January 23, 1973) is an American journalist, screenwriter and film producer. Before he became a prominent figure of cinema, Boal worked as a journalist for such publications as Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, Salon and Playboy. Boal's 2004 article "Death and Dishonor" was adapted for the film In the Valley of Elah, which Boal also co-wrote. In 2009, he wrote and produced The Hurt Locker, for which he won both the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Academy Award for Best Picture. In 2012, he wrote and produced Zero Dark Thirty, teaming again with director Kathryn Bigelow, about the tracking and killing of Osama bin Laden. The film earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture and a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay. The pair collaborated a third time for 2017's Detroit. As of 2013, Boal has won two Academy Awards (four nominations), a BAFTA Award, two Writers Guild of America Awards, a Producers Guild of America Award and four Golden Globe Award nominations. He has also won several critics awards. more…

All Mark Boal scripts | Mark Boal Scripts

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Translation

Translate and read this script in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Український (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss this The Hurt Locker script with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"The Hurt Locker" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 Feb. 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/the_hurt_locker_10410>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

Watch the movie trailer

The Hurt Locker

The Marketplace:

Sell your Script !

Get listed in the most prominent screenplays collection on the web!


The Studio:

ScreenWriting Tool

Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.


Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.